Israel’s far-right minister of defense, Avigdor Liberman, announced on Sunday, April 30, that Ahmad Dawabsheh, whose home in Duma near Nablus in the Palestinian occupied territories was destroyed in an arson attack by Israeli settlers two years ago, is not eligible to receive compensation from the state. Ahmad’s parents and younger brother died as a result of the attack.
Liberman’s position on the matter was put forward in official correspondence with Hadash MK, Yousef Jabareen (Joint List), to whom Liberman responded after the latter raised the issue. The minister of defense claimed that the now six-year-old Palestinian child does not qualify to be considered a “terror victim” and will therefore not receive compensation.
The current law stipulates that the state must compensate Israeli citizens who fall victim to terrorism, but does not apply to Palestinians “who are not citizens or residents of Israel,” Liberman wrote.
Ahmad Dawabsheh’s mother, father and 18-month-old brother, Ali, all died as a result of the attack, in which Israeli settlers threw Molotov cocktails into their house during the night of July 30, 2015.
Following receipt of Liberman’s letter, MK Jabareen said that Ahmad’s extended family has not made a special request for compensation after the decision by the minister of defense, nor does it intend to do so. “The compensation should be a right, not a gift,” said Jabareen. “The state must award Ahmad full compensation due to the severe loss and injury he has suffered, not as the result of an unprecedented request.”
Jabareen said the family would now “appeal to the courts” to seek both recognition and compensation for the Dawabsheh child. Responding to Liberman’s letter, Jabareen accused the defense minister of a racist policy towards Palestinians. “The defense minister’s position is based on racial discrimination,” Jabareen said in a statement. “If we were talking about Jewish settlers hurt by Palestinians, the victims would automatically receive compensation.