Israel will not pay terror victims’ compensation to Ahmed Dawabsha, a Palestinian boy whose parents and brother were killed in a 2015 arson attack carried out on their home by Israeli settlers, Israel’s war minister Avigdor Lieberman told a Knesset member in an official correspondence on the issue.
Writing to Joint (Arab) List MK Yousef Jabareen in response to a question as to why the now-orphaned Ahmed has not yet received money from Israel, Lieberman said the 6-year-old, who was badly injured in the attack, does not qualify as a “terror victim” and will therefore not receive compensation.
According to the Times of Israel daily, the current law stipulates that Israel must compensate Israelis affected by terrorism, but does not apply to Palestinians “who are not citizens or residents of Israel,” Lieberman wrote.
In January 2016, then-attorney general Yehuda Weinstein rejected a request from Jabareen for Dawabsha to be recognized as a terror victim.
“The compensation should be a right, not a gift,” he claimed. “The state needs to give him full compensation due to the severe incident he has suffered.”
Jabareen said the family would now “turn to the courts” in order to seek both recognition and compensation for Dawabsha.
Two homes in Duma, south of Nablus, were set alight in the July 31 attack. In the attack, Ali Dawabsha,18 months old, was burned to death and father Saad Dawabsha, his wife Riham and their son Ahmad, who was four at the time, were critically injured. Saad died in August and Riham in September. The only surviving member of the family, Ahmed, received months of treatment for severe burns.
Responding to Lieberman’s letter, Jabareen accused the war minister of implementing a racist policy towards the Palestinians.
“The defense minister’s position is based on racial discrimination,” Jabareen said in a statement. “If we were talking about Jewish settlers hurt by Palestinians, the victims would automatically receive compensation.”
The attack caused massive outrage in the occupied Palestinian territories and around the world.
In January 2016, a 21-year-old Israeli settler—Amiram Ben-Uliel—and an unnamed 16-year-old minor were indicted for carrying out the Duma terror attack.
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