The lawyer for relatives of a murdered Palestinian family who were firebombed inside their house by a Jewish settler has requested the maximum sentencing, as the years-long case nears its end.
Saad and Riham Dawabsheh, along with their 18-month old son Ali, died in the arson attack carried out by Amiram Ben-Uliel while they slept in their home in the occupied West Bank village of Duma in July 2015.
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The family’s sole survivor in the attack was Ahmed Dawabsheh, who was four years old at the time and suffered second- and third-degree burns on more than 60 percent of his body.
“We demand three life sentences, in addition to an extra 40 years in prison for the settler, as well as a financial compensation of 260,000 shekels ($75,400) for each of the three victims,” family lawyer Omar Khamayseh told Al Jazeera on Tuesday after a court session in which family members gave their last testimony in the case.
Ben-Uliel was convicted last month of three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of arson and conspiracy to commit a racially motivated crime.
According to Israeli prosecutors, Ben-Uliel chose the Dawabsheh family home on the assumption it was inhabited, and threw a Molotov cocktail in one of the windows. Prior to that, he had spray-painted “Revenge” and “Long Live King Messiah” on the walls of the house.
His sentencing, Khamayseh said, will take place on July 12 at 6am (03:00 GMT) at the Lod (Lydda) District Court.
Tuesday’s court session was attended by Nasr Dawabsheh, Saad’s brother and Ahmed’s uncle.
“We’ve suffered so much in the last five years with the court proceedings,” Nasr Dawabsheh told Al Jazeera. “We had to apply for permits to be present at the court, which has had some 70 sessions. It was our resolve and determination that got the case to reach sentencing the criminal.”
Nasr Dawabsheh said the sentencing should act a deterrent for other settlers to think twice before attacking Palestinians, but added: “On a personal level, the sentencing will not mean much to us, the Dawabsheh family. It will not bring back Saad, or Riham or Ali.
“But we also don’t want another Dawabsheh case, and we don’t want another Palestinian child to go through the trauma that Ahmed is still suffering from.”
Ahmed Dawabsheh, who is now 10 years old, did not attend Tuesday’s court session.
“He refused to come,” his uncle said. “He does not want to see any settlers. He told me: ‘Even if I do attend, will you guarantee that I will stop having nightmares about him? As long as there are settlers around, I will never feel safe’.”
According to Israeli rights organisation Yesh Din, there is a very low percentage of indictments that result from ideological crimes committed by Israeli citizens and settlers against Palestinians or their property in the West Bank.
The organisation monitored 1,293 cases between 2005 and 2019 in the West Bank and found that a sweeping majority of these cases – 1,144, or 91 percent – were closed without any indictments. Only 8 percent of these cases (100) resulted in indictments, and the remaining eight were lost by the Israeli police and never investigated.
“The failure to investigate crimes against Palestinians and the increase in the number of offenses committed indicate that the State of Israel fails to protect Palestinians and their property from harm, as it is required to do under international law, and that its attempts to investigate crimes committed in areas under its jurisdiction are futile,” Yesh Din said.
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Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…
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Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.
“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.
Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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