Just ‘another’ revenge killing. We move on, while Palestine weeps

‘Burned Baby’.

I bet the majority of you never heard of this heartbreaking news, which did not make the headlines.

A two-year-old infant – wait, sorry an 18 month old baby who was robbed of the chance to make it that far, (dare I say it) #wasBurnedAlive, by (what witnesses recall) Jewish Settlers.

Why (dare I ask)?

‘Revenge’, the answer seems to be.

‘Revenge’ – was the graffiti-sprayed message on the walls of the family home by (according to witnesses) two masked men, in the village of Duma, on the occupied West Bank.

‘Revenge’? I DO ask, What harm could baby #AliDawabshe have possibly caused to spark vengeance in the two masked men, within the 540 innocent days of his limited lifespan, to deserve to be #BurnedAlive?

After tuning into Al-Quds, a Palestinian satellite channel, I couldn’t see the top-left corner of the screen, because there was a box with these words ‘حرقوا_الرضيع’ in it, a statement on the top-left corner of the screen, permanently holding its position there. Shocked and completely baffled. I squinted to see if I’ve read it right, ‘burned_baby’. I asked my neighbour to my right if I’d read this right, she assured me I’d read correctly. The statement had not moved regardless of programme transitions, even breaks. They did not flinch. Those stubborn two words, but what were they conveying?

The attack happened around 3-4 am, a time when a typical family would be sleeping, but this family, the Dawabshe family were awoken to fire in their own bed. It is clear the arsonists planned accordingly. They smashed the window and threw a firebomb through it, the father managed to rescue his other son (4years of age) and his wife, but could not find baby Ali in time, had he stayed and searched for Ali, it is likely all four would have perished in the fire.

Ali’s family are now in a critical condition at a hospital in Israel, with 75 per cent burns to their bodies – a permanent mark, a constant reminder of the traumatic inescapable event which led to the inability of saving their little boy, their baby, their Ali.

A block of ‘charcoal’, as Ali’s remains was described by eyewitnesses.

You are probably wondering why the hashtags? ‘#WasBurnedAlive’, ‘#AliDawabshe’ and the powerful two words that stuck with me ‘#حرقوا_الرضيع’; following the attack on the 31st of July, infuriated individuals took to Twitter to articulate their condemnation of these inhumane actions. Many, had a unique way of getting their message across, some took to the streets holding up signs saying ‘there’s nothing to see here, just another dead Palestinian’, or ‘another blown up baby’ while holding a baby doll covered in blood, reinforcing the message that the world keeps on moving and chooses to be oblivious to the crimes committed against Palestinians. The fact that this did not just happen once, but has been happening on numerous occasions, is the main issue, and we as humans are still allowing these inexcusable acts to carry on with our confounding silence.‘Silence is a Crime’ – Nelson Mandela, one tweeter posted.

Another active individual who displayed condemnation on Twitter, also holding the sign of ‘nothing to see here, just another dead Palestinian’. A dead baby was used symbolically of Ali with candles in memory of him, so that we do not forget his case, unlike countless other forgotten Palestinians.

Those words on the screen had a right to not be moved. Why should they disappear when a programme ends? Someone’s got to break the chain.

President Mahmoud Abbas mentioned that Palestine wakes up ‘Every day to a similar crime’, really?

Yes, really.

This year alone, there have been 120 reported attacks by Israeli settlers according to the United Nations, but these numbers only include the complaints actually filed by Palestinians. What about the other attacks that haven’t been reported? This idea, has also been addressed by the human rights organisation, Yesh Din as the, ‘failure to enforce the law on Israeli civilians in the West Bank’. Only 7.4 per cent of the district police investigations into offenses committed by Israeli civilians against Palestinian property in the West Bank have had some form of indictment. This, again still doesn’t count the offences not reported. Furthermore, it was found that more than 85 per cent of cases had ‘indicating investigative failure, such as the investigator’s failure to find suspects or collect enough evidence for an indictment’.

That being said, how exactly do you expect Palestinians to trust that these murderers, or in Netanyahu’s words, ‘perpetrators’ will be brought to justice?

A ‘burned baby’, means justice must be served.








Yesh Din: report