A baby bottle, a child’s tricycle and a woman’s scarf were among the few items that survived a pre-dawn terrorist attack on Friday by two suspected Jewish extremists who threw Molotov cocktails into the bedroom of the Dawabsha family home in Duma as they slept.
Ali Dawabsha, a year-and-a-half old, was killed immediately by the fire that quickly engulfed the home. His parents, Saad and Reham, and his four-year-old brother Ahmed were seriously injured.“May Allah accept him in the top of paradise,” Hakam Dawabsha said of Ali, as he glanced up to the sky.Hakam was one of dozens of neighbors, family friends and politicians who gathered around the one-story house, gutted by the blaze. To their left was the burned-out porch of a second home that was similarly fired-bombed. That family was not home at the time and there were no injuries.Hakam said many members of the community near Nablus belonged to the Dawabsha family and that he himself was a distant relative.Residents who stood in the hot summer sun described the attack to visitors.Hakam, a religious studies teacher, said he was awake and in front of his computer at 2:30 a.m. when he heard there was a fire in the village.“We ran as best as we could and came here. We saw the fire eating the house. Many of the people tried to save the boy [Ali], but they couldn’t enter the house because of the big fire. And we tried our best but no one could reach the boy,” he said.He only realized it was a terrorist attack when he saw the Hebrew graffiti on the exterior wall near the Dawabsha house of a Jewish star and the word “Revenge.”Ibrahim Dawabsha, another Duma resident, said he heard shouts for help from the house and rushed to it.“I saw two masked men outside,” he said. Ibrahim went to get help and when he returned, they had gone.“We found the parents outside with burns, they said there was another son in the house. We brought him out and then they said there was another boy inside, but we couldn’t reach the bedroom because of the fire. He was left inside until rescue forces came,” he said.A 16-year-old who lives next door said the smoke woke her up and she saw the two attackers from the roof of her home.“I was very afraid when I saw this attack and I was very sad. It is very difficult,” said the petite teen with large brown eyes. Her hair was covered by a black scarf with red flowers. She burst into tears at the memory of the morning’s events.“It is very troubling,” she said.A neighbor, who did not see the attack, said those who were present recounted that the husband Saad’s chest caught fire as he slept and his wife, Reham, burned herself when she tried to put it out.“The fire reached all her body,” said the neighbor, as she stood in the doorway of her home. “Their four-year-old son was screaming and shouting.“We are scared the attackers will return,” she added, looking across the small road to the Dawabsha home, whose windows were shattered.Black smoke marks streaked across the white stucco walls around the area of the windows and the doors. Pieces of broken furniture, burnt clothing and papers were scattered in every room. Many of the walls were black from the fire.One man stood in the doorway and sobbed. His friends walked him away from the house and sat him down on a low stone wall by an olive tree, as he continued to cry.Reuters contributed to this report.