Saed Dawabsheh

Father of slain Palestinian baby dies of his wounds

Saed Dawabsheh, 31, dies after fighting for his life for over a week since the deadly arson attack that claimed the life of his infant son; mother, elder son still fighting for their lives.

Saed Dawabsheh, the father of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh who was burned to death in an arson attack on the family home in the village of Duma, died of his wounds early Saturday morning, raising the number of victims in the attack to two.



The 31-year-old father suffered burns to 80 percent of his body and was fighting for his life for a little over a week at the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva before succumbing to his wounds.


Hundreds of Palestinians rallied at Dawabsheh's funeral in Duma and called on militant factions to take revenge for the deaths.


Saed Dawabsheh's funeral    (צילום: רויטרס)

Saed Dawabsheh's funeral


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Riots broke out just hours after the funeral, when Palestinians threw rocks at IDF troops and burned tires. Other tried to set fire to brush next to a road but the rioting crowds were dispersed with riot-control measures.


Netanyahu put out a statement expressing his "deep sorrow" over Dawabsheh's death.


"When I visited the family at the hospital last week, I promised we would use all the tools at our disposal to catch the murderers and bring them to justice, and that is what we are doing," he said. "We will not accept terror from any side."


Rioting and burning tires after the funeral. (Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)
Rioting and burning tires after the funeral. (Photo: Reuters)


Nasser, Saed's brother, said that doctors "at 4:30-5am told me my brother passed away. They said they couldn't save him. It really hurts. Last week little Ali passed away and now his father."


He called on the State of Israel to find the people responsible for the murder and bring them to justice. "We come in peace, and what happened is reminiscent of dark days in history, the deeds of the Nazis," he said. 


Saed Dawabsheh with his wife Reham and son (Photo: Hassan Shaalan) (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Saed Dawabsheh with his wife Reham and son (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)


The news of the father's death came a day after the family received good news from Tel HaShomer hospital, where his four-year-old son Ahmad, who is suffering from burns on 60 percent of his body, woke up and communicated with his surroundings. Despite that, his situation is still considered serious and his life is still in danger due to his severe wounds.


"We went to his room and he recognized us. He couldn't talk, but we could see he recognizes us. We hope his situation continues to improve," Ahmad's grandfather, Hussein Dawabsheh, said on Friday.


Hussein Dawabsheh, Saed's father (Photo: Rotem Elizera)
Hussein Dawabsheh, Saed's father (Photo: Rotem Elizera)


"The doctors told us to be around him all the time and talk to him because he can hear us and understand. We don't want to leave him for a moment so that every time he opens his eyes, there will be someone from the family by his side," Hussein added. 


The mother, Reham, 27, is suffering from burns on 90 percent of her body and remains in serious condition.


Dr. Moti Klein, the head of the ICU at the Soroka Medical Center, said Saed Dawabsheh arrived to the hospital from Nablus a week ago.


"They saved his life there," Dr. Klein said. "He got to us in a serious condition with burns on 80 percent of his body. He underwent four operations, during which the damaged skin was removed and he was transplanted with new skin. Unfortunately, like in many cases of burn victims, what caused his death was the infection. His systems collapsed one after the other and in the early morning hours we had to call it."


The burnt remains of the Dawabsheh family home (Photo: Mohammad Shinawi)
The burnt remains of the Dawabsheh family home (Photo: Mohammad Shinawi)


The Palestinian Authority sent Saed's body to Nablus for an autopsy before his burial. The Palestinians plan to use the results of the autopsy as evidence against Israel at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.


In a statement released by Hamas after Saed Dawabsheh's death, the terror organization called for an all-out war against Israel in the West Bank.


"Saed Dawabsheh's death emphasizes the magnitude of the crime the Zionists committed against the family. The resistance in the West Bank has turned into a privilege, an obligation, and the way to protect ourselves," the statement read. "The only thing that deters the settlers is an offensive initiative and not waiting until they reach out villages and homes. We have no choice but to start an all-out war against Israel."


The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, called for the attackers to be brought swiftly to justice.


"Political, community and religious leaders on all sides should work together and not allow extremists to escalate the situation and take control of the political agenda," he said in a statement.


The attack on the Dawabsheh home on July 31 is believed to have been committed by Jewish perpetrators. It prompted widespread condemnation and pledges by Israel's government to get tougher on Jewish vigilantes who have repeatedly attacked Palestinians and their property over the years.


Several suspected Jewish extremists have been detained, but no one was directly accused of involvement in the attack.


Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups say Israeli authorities do little to enforce the law against militant settlers and that the IDF has largely failed to protect Palestinians against such attacks.


Many of the attacks have been part of a so-called "price tag" tactic intended to deter the dismantling of unauthorized settlement outposts that have sprung up on West Bank hilltops over the years.


Earlier this week, the government decided to allow harsher interrogations of suspected Jewish militants with methods once reserved for Palestinian detainees.


It also said it would start detaining citizens suspected of political violence against Palestinians without a trial, another practice previously used only on Palestinian suspects.


Saed Dawabsheh's death raises concern of further violence. There has been two Palestinian attacks since the arson at the Dawabsheh family home: A woman was moderately wounded on Monday night from a Molotov cocktail thrown at her car in Jerusalem, while three IDF soldiers were hurt in a vehicular attack on Thursday when a car deliberately rammed into them near the village of Sinjil in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. 


Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 08.08.15, 08:22
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