Israel's leadership joined their European colleagues on Friday in denouncing the deadly arson attack that claimed the life of a Palestinian toddler in the West Bank before dawn.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Friday afternoon in the wake of the terror attack in Duma and said that Israel was shocked by the act of “heinous terror.”
“We must fight together against terror, regardless of the side it comes from,” he said. He told Abbas that he directed the security services to use all means at its disposal to locate the murderers of the Palestinian baby, Ali Dawabsha.
After some 13 months of not speaking, this was the second time in a month that the two men spoke. Netanyahu called Abbas earlier this month to send greetings on the occasion of Id al-Fitr.
Britain's Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood issued a statement Friday condemning the “horrific attack by Israeli settlers that resulted in the death of a Palestinian child.”
Ellwood said the attack was “a brutal act of terrorism, as recognized by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. We call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that those responsible for this crime are brought swiftly to justice.”
Elwood also called on “political and community leaders on all sides to do their utmost to promote calm.”
President Reuven Rivlin arrived at Tel Hashomer shortly after Netanyahu’s departure and declared as he had done earlier in the day that it was not enough to talk about the need to fight terror, but to actually do something about it.
The government and the nation must declare that we will no longer tolerate terror, he said.
As painful as the arson attack in Duma was, he said, it was also shameful.
Early on Friday morning, Rivlin took the unusual step of issuing a statement in both Arabic and Hebrew in which he urged that terrorism not be allowed to triumph.
He called on Palestinians and on Israel’s Arab community to contain their anger and outrage and to allow the law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In the statement, Rivlin, in another rare, move acknowledged that Israel had been lax in its treatment of Jewish terrorists.
The fact that he and other Israeli leaders had actually called the criminals what they are received a lot of play in both the local Arab and Palestinian media.
The European Union released a statement ealier Friday describing the incident as a "cold-blooded killing."
"The cold-blooded killing of Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha, presumably by extremist settlers, is a tragic reminder of the dramatic situation in the region that highlights the urgent need for a political solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the EU said.
"The EU extends its condolences to the Dawabsha family for their tragic loss and wishes a speedy recovery to the mother, father and the sibling of little Ali that were also injured in the arson attack in the village of Duma in the West Bank."
Brussels called on Israel to launch a speedy and thorough investigation and to put in place measures to protect local Palestinians.
"Acts like this terrible attack can easily lead to a spiral of violence and bring both sides further away from a negotiated solution," the EU said. "Restraint and calm on all sides are needed so that the already tense situation on the ground does not aggravate further."
"The EU reiterates its strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy that seriously threatens the two state solution."