Prosecutors Drop Murder, Arson Charges Against Minor in Duma Case

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli soldier stands near a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Shechem, where a Palestinian infant was killed, July 31, 2015, in an arson attack. (Flash90)

Prosecutors on Sunday signed a plea deal with A., a minor who had been accused of burning down the home of the Dawabshe family in the Shomron village of Duma in July 2015, leading to the deaths of Sa’ed and Riham Dawabshe, and their 18-month-old baby, Ali. The plea deal, however, makes no mention of the Duma crime – indicating, A.’s attorneys said, that he would not be prosecuted in the case.

Also not appearing in the deal is another accusation against A. – that he participated in the burning of a church in the Galilee. The plea deal does include A’s admission to participating in several “price tag” incidents, including slashing the tires of cars owned by Arabs.

Attorneys for A. called the deal “dramatic,” given the bombastic statements by prosecutors regarding the guilt of the suspect in the destruction that led to the immolation of the Dawabshe infant. Attorneys for A. and for the adult suspect who has also been accused of participating in the crime, Amiram Ben-Uliel, have claimed that the Duma incident was an intra-Arab matter, and that the house had been burned done by other Arabs from the village.

Unresolved in the deal are accusations against A. that he was a member of a terror group. Prosecutors will continue to pursue that charge in court, A’s attorneys said, adding that the deal includes the possibility of his being sentenced to a youth rehabilitation facility for up to five years.

In June 2018, the court declared invalid much of the evidence in the case against A. and Ben-Uliel. The court accepted the claims of attorneys for the two that an admission of guilt by them had been extracted by torture by Shin Bet officials.

Ben-Uliel was arrested in December 2015 on suspension of setting the fire, in response to the ongoing attacks by Arab terrorists against Jews, especially the murder of three Israeli teens who had been by Hamas terrorists – Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha’ar (16), and Eyal Yifrach (19), Hy”d. The murders were a contributing factor to 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.