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Arson Attack That Killed Toddler In West Bank Is Called Terrorism

A Palestinian man mourns alongside the body of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday.

An arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy was being condemned widely on Friday, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization is putting the blame on the Israeli government.

The attack happened in the early morning hours of Friday when perpetrators firebombed a house in the village of Duma. According to the BBC, the perpetrators left behind some graffiti in Hebrew. On one wall, the Star of David was drawn right next to the word "revenge."

According to The New York Times, an 18-month-old toddler was burned to death and his 4-year-old brother was critically injured.

The BBC reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack "reprehensible and horrific."

"This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of the perpetrators," Netanyahu said.

The BBC adds:

"However the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, said it held the Israeli government 'fully responsible for the brutal assassination' of the child, Ali Saad Dawabsha.

" 'This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism,' it said."

Reuters reports that this:

"... was the worst attack by Israeli assailants since a Palestinian teenager was burned to death in Jerusalem a year ago. That followed the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinian militants in the West Bank.

"The Israeli military boosted forces in the area to search for the suspects, described by a spokesman as 'two masked terrorists,' and prevent any escalation in violence. The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called for revenge."

Mark Toner, a U.S. State Department spokesperson, said that the United States condemned "last night's vicious terrorist attack."

He continued: "We welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu's order to Israel's security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers for what he called an act of terrorism and bring them to justice. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this tragic incident."

Meanwhile, the family and several hundred people joined in a funeral procession for the boy. In life, Reuters reports, Ali Dawabsheh was a beautiful, smiling, chubby-faced boy.

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