Video of far-rightists stabbing photos of dead Palestinian baby.
(photo credit: CHANNEL 10)
Judea and Samaria District detectives on Tuesday arrested four suspects, including the groom, who were seen in a wedding video earlier this month dancing with firearms and cheering the firebombing murders of a Palestinian toddler and his parents.
The suspects, one of whom is a resident of Kfar Tapuah in the West Bank, were spotted by police in the video of the celebration, which was first aired on Channel 10 last week. In the video, filmed at a wedding in Jerusalem, a large group of young men can be seen dancing and singing, a number of them holding knives and guns aloft and one repeatedly stabbing a photo of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha.
Ali and his parents were murdered by arsonists who torched their home in a suspected “price tag” attack in the Palestinian village of Duma in July, a crime attributed by the authorities to Jewish terrorists. The house was set alight when the assailants threw firebombs through its windows while the family was asleep. In the wedding video, one reveler can be seen dancing while waving a mock firebomb.
Video of far-rightists stabbing photos of dead Palestinian baby
The suspect’s attorney, farright activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, said that the firearm seen in the video was a toy gun and that “this is an act that may be tasteless, but is not a crime.”
MK Itzik Shmuli, chairman of the Knesset Lobby for the Fight against “Price Tag” Attacks, praised the police on Tuesday and said he trusts “that they will reach all those who took part in this disgraceful, hateful display.”
He said that the police and security forces must also deal with those spreading the ideology that inspires such displays.
After the video went public, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Gadi Eisenkot ordered an investigation into whether or not the guns seen in the video were military issue, and the IDF later arrested two soldiers whose firearms were identified as having been in the video.
Last week, a spokesman for the Judea and Samaria District police said that an investigation into the incident was under way, adding that the probe was launched before the video was broadcast by Channel 10. The charges being investigated in collaboration with the State Prosecutor’s Office include incitement to violence, the spokesman stated.
Rumors have circulated that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) leaked the video to Channel 10 to smear settlers, an allegation the agency has denied.
The video was the subject of widespread condemnation last week, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Thursday that those dancing in the video were part of a fringe group of extremists.
“This fringe group does not represent the Right, it is not the Right that I know,” he said. “Israel is a land of the rule of law. We will not tolerate a situation where a particular group refuses to accept the laws of the state, and carries out acts of murder,” he said.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said the scene depicted in the video was not surprising to anyone who is familiar with “the dangerous and extreme types who act at the broad margins of the [Right],” but added that “this wild and dangerous mindset must be denounced and uprooted immediately.”
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid wrote to Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen and Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheikh, asking that they act urgently against incitement.
“These people did not spring up out of a void. There are rabbis, ideologues and politicians behind them,” Lapid said.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said that the condemnations of the video coming from right-wing leaders are not enough, and that the video is just a symptom of a more widespread phenomenon.
“The disease is the deep, blind hatred that does not start and end at a ‘small group’ of young men, but reaches growing sections of our society... It is the feeling of mastery over the Palestinians, the apathy toward their suffering and the total security in the superiority of the Jewish people,” she wrote on Facebook.