|Jerusalem fire 370.(Photo by: Melanie Lidman)|
Arsonists attempt to burn down home in Far’ata
Police investigating possibility incident in Palestinian village was a ‘price tag’ attack.
Police have opened an investigation into the attempted arson of a Palestinian
home in the West Bank village of Far’ata late Monday night. Police said the
investigation is examining all possible angles, including the possibility that
the act was a “price tag” attack on Palestinians by Jewish
Police said no arrests have been made so far in connection
with the attempted arson, which charred the entryway of a family’s home. The IDF
said following the attack that they had launched a search of the area to no
avail, and then turned the investigation over to police.
The Shin Bet
(Israel Security Agency) said Tuesday it is assisting police in the
Itidal Tawil and her three children were in their house in
the village when unknown assailants tried to set the house on fire at 12:10 a.m.
“I was watching TV and it was very noisy when my
brother-in-law called me to warn us about the fire,” she told the The Jerusalem
Tawil said she believes that if not for her husband and her uncle,
who immediately noticed the attack, things could have been much
She locked her children in a room and went out to her house’s
burning gate, as relatives and neighbors came to help put out the fire. She did
not want her children to know she believed the fire was an assault by settlers,
and concocted a story of a burned rag.
“Karam, my two year old, was
shivering two days ago when he heard settlers shooting towards us, and keeps
wanting to sit on my lap,” she said as her children could be heard shouting in
Nevertheless, her five- and seven-year-old daughters heard
their cousins talking about the attack. “Why did settlers want to hurt us?”
seven-year-old Rasha asked her mother.
Though Monday night’s attack was
unusual for the village, residents told the Post they often encounter violence
from settlers living in the Havat Gilad outpost a few hundred meters from the
Awwad Tawil, whose nephew Fariz Tawil’s house was hit in the
attack, said he and his nephew were walking back to their homes from an Id
al-Fitr visit when they spotted two men carrying a large can of garbage near
“We thought they were collecting garbage or something,”
Awwad Tawil said, adding that when they saw the two men pouring diesel fuel on
the house’s gate, they realized the home was under attack.
described the incident to the Post shortly after he returned from the police
station in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim Tuesday afternoon.
nearest villagers were 150 meters away from the house, which allowed the two
assailants to escape before they arrived.
“We found another 10 masked men
hiding in a neighboring, uninhabited house,” Awwad said, adding that the group
of men ran away in the direction of Havat Gilad.
The family was able to
extinguish the fire in 35 minutes and no one was injured. Awwad said he called
an activist from NGO B’Tselem who, in turn, called the Israeli Civil
Administration in Nablus.
He told the Post that the IDF arrived 35
minutes after the attack to investigate the incident, adding that “they usually
take less time than that.”
After visiting the police station in Kedumim
to give his testimony, Awwad said police officials told him they arrested the
assailants, which contradicts what police reported to the press on
He said police informed him that he is allowed to detain
attackers until the IDF comes, provided he does not harm them– or else he will
face jail-time. The 50-year-old added, “I told them [police]: Even if I can
contain myself, others won’t have the patience [not to harm the
Awwad said people are usually cautious of such assaults as
they have been victims of violence, saying that his house and family were
regular targets for attacks over the past five years. “Recently, I installed
surveillance cameras around my house, so they have avoided me and started going
around my house.”
Itidal Tawil, 25, says the burned gate outside her
house still smelled of diesel, as did some small trees and flowers she planted
in her garden. She expressed fear of leaving her house unattended: “My family
lives in neighboring Bidya village and has asked me to go there, but I
Itidal said she believes in fate and God’s will, but she also
believes that if she remains in her home, she can protect it against future
Monday’s attack came a few days after unknown assailants threw a
Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian taxi carrying six members of the same family,
outside the settlement of Bat Ayin. Two members of the family remain
hospitalized at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem with