A 26-year-old Israeli youth was found guilty of murdering three Palestinians in a terror attack in 2015. Amiram Ben Uliel was convicted on three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder on May 18, Monday. He is a resident ofl an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank and in 2015, was part of a group of assailants who killed three members of a Palestinian family in the village of Duma in the West Bank. The three-judge bench of the Lod District Court in Israel, however, acquitted him of being a member of a terrorist organization, despite his belonging to the extremist group ‘hilltop youth’.
In an early morning attack on July 31, 2015, three members of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family – Sa’ad and Reham Dawabsheh and their 18-month-old son Ali – were killed by fire bombs thrown by Uliel and his companions. Dawabsheh’s elder son, Ahmed, who was four years old at the time of the attack, was also injured but survived. Duma is to the south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
During the attack Amiram and his companions sprayed graffiti – “long live messiah the king” and “revenge” – on the wall of one of the homes of the Duma village and threw Molotov cocktails on several houses. Some of those fell in Dawabsheh’s house while the family was asleep.
According to Hussain Dawabsheh, Reham’s father, 28 people were initially arrested for the crime. However, most of them were gradually released and were never tried. Meir Ettinger, the grandson of Meir Kahane and leader of the group ‘hilltop youth’, was tried but was let go after only 10 months in prison. One of them, who was a minor at the time of the crime, is being tried separately. His sentence will be pronounced on Thursday.
Dawabsheh’s attorney expressed his dissatisfaction on the acquittal of Amiram on the charges of being a member of a terrorist organization. According to him, hilltop youth comprises a group of young settlers living in the illegal outposts on the hills near the illegal settlements. Amiram is an active member of the group.
The ‘hilltop youth’ are followers of extremist Meir Kahane, who declared the expulsion of all non-Jewish people from Israel as the will of God. The group also promotes the building of settlements inside the occupied territories. Its members have carried out attacks on Palestinians living near the settlements or working in nearby fields, termed “price tag” attacks. Many human rights organizations allege that the Israeli state rarely takes legal actions against them. In fact, Israeli officials often allegedly support of their acts. Though all the outposts are illegal even as per Israeli law, most of the members of the group are never tried for creating them.