Mother Dies of Injuries from Duma Firebombing; MKs Condemn, Lament Lack of Arrests

Riham Dawabsha, who incurred massive burns in an arson attack carried out by Israeli right-wing extremists in the West Bank village of Duma 39 days ago, succumbed to her injuries and died early Monday morning, September 7. Riham, who turned 27 on Sunday, was mother to Ali and husband to Sa’ad, both of whom also died as a result of the terrorist attack on their home. She is survived by four-year-old Ahmed, who is currently still in serious condition at Tel Hashomer Hospital in central Israel.

The three victims from the firebombing of the Dawabsha family home in Duma on July 31, 2015: Sa'ad (30), Riham (27), and Ali (18 months)

The three victims from the firebombing of the Dawabsha family home in Duma on July 31, 2015: Sa’ad (30), Riham (27), and Ali (18 months) (Photo: Al Ittihad)

Doctors at Tel Hashomer summoned Riham’s family members on Saturday following a serious deterioration in her condition. The family arrived at hospital bearing a cake to celebrate the young woman’s upcoming birthday; she was to die less than 48 hours later.

While four year old Ahmed Dawabsha is still classified as being in serious condition, his state is slowly improving  and he’s managed to communicate with those around him in recent weeks. He has begun requesting to speak with his mother and father, asking where they are.

In a pre-dawn attack on the last day of July, still-unidentified arsonists threw Molotov cocktails into the home of the Dawabsha family in the Palestinian village of Duma. The attackers spray-painted Stars of David and Hebrew slogans (“Revenge!” and “The messiah lives!”) on the walls of the home before fleeing the scene.

In response to the news of Riham’s death Monday morning, MKs from Hadash expressed outrage and sorrow that law authorities have still not arrested a single person in connection with the deadly arson attack which Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, termed a terrorist attack the day of the incident. “More than a month has passed and the murderers are still free; terrorism and hate crimes against Palestinians continue to be committed, and nothing has changed,” said Joint List MK Aida Touma-Suleiman (Hadash). “The policy of occupation is what germinated the murderers of the Dawabsha family and it is responsible for the death of Riham, Sa’ad and Ali.” Joint List party leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) concurred that the root cause of the deadly attack is the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. “The terrible crime of burning alive the Dawabsha family horrified us all, but we must not forget the soil that gave root to this crime,” he said in a statement. “The occupation and the trampling of the basic human rights of Palestinians is what gave rise to the venal murderers, who are still roaming free, perhaps even planning another crime.”