Media Centre
Statement On Arson Attack In The West Bank

Statement On Arson Attack In The West Bank

03 August 2015

Jennifer Huppert, JCCV President states: “The arson incident in the West Bank is a deplorable and reprehensible attack. Any terrorist attack, by people of any race or religion, are neither acceptable nor defenseable.  We join with the ECAJ in expressing outrage at this terrible crime.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their family.”


The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected representative body of the Australian Jewish community, is saddened, appalled and outraged by the heinous crime that took the life of Ali Saad Dawabsha, an 18 month old infant boy from Duma, south of Nablus in the West Bank.

It is understood that, in the early hours of the morning of Friday July 31st, Jewish extremists carried out an arson attack on two buildings. One building was unoccupied, while in the other building, slept the Dawabsha family. Ali Saad could not be rescued and died in the attack while his 4-year-old brother and parents were evacuated to an Israeli hospital, having suffered moderate-to-serious burns.

While the perpetrators of this cowardly and barbaric crime remain at large, the character of the attack is clear. This was an act of terror which has left an infant boy dead and shattered the lives of a young family. Nothing can excuse or mitigate the outrageous criminality of this incident. The perpetrators have brought shame upon themselves and have repudiated the sacred values of Judaism, which uphold the sanctity of human life, especially the life of a child, above all other values.

We have every confidence that all means available to the Israeli criminal justice system and the Israel Defence Forces will be swiftly mobilised to bring the killers to justice.

We welcome the swift and severe condemnation of this terrible crime by:

•   Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has called the attack “a heinous, horrific act… which is a terrorist attack in every respect”;

•   the Israel Defence Forces, who have characterized the incident as a “barbaric act of terrorism”, as their personnel are deployed throughout the West Bank in search of the perpetrators; and

•   the leader of the Yesh Atid Party, Yair Lapid, who has said that “he who burns a Palestinian baby declares war on the State of Israel”.

The arson and murder attack occurred at the approach of the Jewish Sabbath. In synagogues throughout Israel and the Jewish world, prayers have been offered for the soul of the murdered infant boy and for strength and solace for those who survive him.

We extend the traditional Jewish blessing to the family of Ali Saad Dawabsha. May they be blessed with long life and receive comfort from the Almighty. May they know strength in this unimaginably difficult time and recover fully in body and in soul.

Robert Goot AM SC, President
Peter Wertheim AM, Executive Director


  • Connect/Share

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook