In the sweltering heat of Sunday afternoon and the bitter atmosphere of recent days, some 150 people gathered in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to condemn the slaying of Ali Dawabsha, the Palestinian toddler who was burnt to death in the village of Duma in the early hours of Friday morning.
Dawabsha’s parents and elder brother remain in hospital with severe injuries sustained in the arson attack.
The event, staged at the Gush Etzion junction at the entrance to the Alon Shvut settlement, was designed as a prayer vigil and a show of solidarity against violence, initiated by Shorashim, a joint Israeli-Palestinian coexistence organization based in the area.
The crowd in attendance at the event was comprised entirely of Israelis, including many residents of the settlements in the area, while those who spoke included several notable rabbis, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and two Palestinian peace activists and local residents, Sheikh Ibrahim Abu El-Hawa and Ziad Sabateen.
All of the speakers spoke out against violence, deplored the use of God’s name to justify murder and called for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.