The teen, who was 17 at the time of the attack and who has been under arrest for more than two years, will be released and placed under full house arrest. He was indicted for conspiring to commit a murder but not of the murder itself and was also indicted for a string of other unrelated crimes.
It is currently believed that the unnamed suspect did not take part in the actual firebombing but was involved in its planning.
The Judge, Ami Kobo, ruled that the teenager would be placed under permanent supervised house arrest and would be obliged to wear an electronic bracelet. The defendant will also be forbidden from leaving Israel.
On July 31, 2015, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Dawabsheh family's house in the village in the northern West Bank, killing an 18-month-old child, Ali, and critically wounded a four-year-old brother and both parents. The parents, Saad and Riham Dawabsheh later succumbed to their wounds.
While Kobo will not participate in the final verdict, he argued during discussions on the matter that the evidence against the teenager relating to the indictments served against him in the murder of the family was weakened, as was the evidence implicating him in an arson attack on a church. Regarding his membership in a terror organization, however, Kobo said that the evidence remains robust.
Hussein Dawabsheh, the grandfather of the baby who was killed in the attack expressed his outrage at the decision. “We have gone through a tough day. I feel like I did on the same day I saw Ali burned. He should stay in prison for his whole life,” he said, vowing to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
Almost a month ago, the Lod District Court ruled that the majority of confessions given by the two alleged Jewish terrorists are admissible, bar those which were obtained under duress or by “special means” by the Shin Bet.
Another confession given by the minor on Duma “hypothetically”—without mentioning of names, but with a general description of the act—will also remain admissible. All of the other confessions he provided were disqualified, even if there was no force involved in their extraction.
In January 2016 an indictment was submitted against the central defendant in the case, Amiram Ben-Uliel, a resident of an outpost near Shila who at the time of the attack was 21 years old.
Ben-Uliel stands accused of three counts of murder in the firebombing and two counts of attempted murder, arson, and conspiracy to commit a racially-motivated crime.
The Central District Court said last month that it would consider a request to release the minor. Lawyers representing him asked the court to consider granting him release after the Lod District Court ruled days before on the inadmissability of the some of the confessions given in the Shin Bet-led investigation.