Israeli minor gets 3 1/2 years for role in deadly 2015 arson


JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court sentenced a young man on Wednesday to 3 1/2 years in prison for his role in the 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents in the West Bank village of Duma.

The unidentified youth, who was a minor at the time of the attack, was found guilty last year of membership in a terrorist organization and involvement in a racially motivated crime.

It was the second sentencing this week by the Lod District Court in the deadly 2015 Duma arson attack.

On Monday, the court handed Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, four life sentences for the killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh in a firebomb attack on the family’s home. The toddler’s mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s brother Ahmad, 4 years old at the time, survived the attack.

The attack came amid a wave of vigilante attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank by suspected Jewish extremists. The deadly firebombing in Duma touched a particularly sensitive nerve, drawing condemnation from across Israel’s political spectrum.

Ben-Uliel belonged to a movement known as the “Hilltop Youth,” a leaderless group of young people who set up unauthorized settlement outposts, usually clusters of trailers, on West Bank hilltops — land the Palestinians claim for their hoped-for state.

The Hilltop Youth have been known to attack Palestinians and even to clash with Israeli soldiers in response to perceived moves by the government to limit settlement activity.

Later in 2015, Israel faced a wave of stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians. Most were carried out by lone attackers with no connection to militant groups

In Wednesday’s ruling, the Lod court said the convicted youth will have the 32 months spent in detention while awaiting trial counted toward his 3 1/2 year sentence.

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