State to High Court: Not ready to bring Duma suspects to trial

Three members of the Dawabsha family died in a July 31 arson attack on their home in Duma, a small community near Nablus in Samaria.

December 8, 2015 17:41
1 minute read.

Hebrew grafitti at the Dawabsha family home in Duma where a fire engulfed the house after a molotov cocktail was thrown at it. (photo credit: ZAKARIA, RABBIS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS)

The state on Tuesday told the High Court of Justice that it is not ready to bring the suspects in the Duma terror attack to trial.

The state asked the High Court to reject a petition filed by Meretz MK Esawi Frej against Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein which demanded they take “legal steps against the Dawabsha family’s murderers.” It told the court it needed more time to continue its investigation into the attack.

Media reports have suggested that Israeli security forces used extreme and controversial tactics against the Jewish suspects, whose identities are still under gag order, to try to gather sufficient evidence for indictments.

Three members of the Dawabsha family – including 18-month-old Ali – were killed after a July 31 arson attack on their home in Duma, a small community near Nablus in Samaria. Ali’s fouryear- old brother remains in hospital.

In his petition, Frej argued that Ya’alon and Weinstein were not taking “the necessary legal steps against the murderers of the Dawabsha family, in order not to expose intelligence sources.”

He called the absence of prosecutions of the murderers “illegal, unreasonable, extremely disproportionate and severely discriminative,” since “the identities of the killers are known to the authorities.”

The Meretz MK noted that on September 9, five weeks after the murder, the defense minister announced that “the security forces know who is responsible for the terror attack in which the Dawabsha family house in Duma was set on fire, but are reluctant to put them on trial in order not to expose intelligence sources.”

On December 3, the Shin Bet announced that there had been a number of arrests made in the case, though many of the details remained under a gag order.

Several parties have also slammed the state for the prolonged administrative detention of three other activists, dating back to August. But the government, with support from Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), has rebuffed the criticism.

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