Settler sentenced for murder of Palestinian family

Amiram Ben-Ouliel May 18 at the court in Lod, Israel.
Amiram Ben-Ouliel May 18 at the court in Lod, Israel. REUTERS

Public opinion has long embraced this iconic drama of "Jewish terrorism" specific to Israel, but justice is advancing at its own pace. Monday, May 18, a district court in Lod (center) sentenced Amiram Ben-Ouliel, a 25-year-old settler, for the murder, in July 2015, an 18-month-old Palestinian child, Ali Dawabcheh, and his parents, Riham and Saad, in the village of Douma, in the northern West Bank. He risks life and can appeal to the Supreme Court.

The murderer's journey tells a lot about the settlers' divisions over their most fanatical children. Amiram Ben-Ouliel is the eldest son of a rabbi living in a "settlement" near Hebron, who is officiating in a preparatory program for military service intended for religious Zionist youth. A respected man whose son, out of school, leaves to gravitate in the "outposts" of the north of the West Bank, occupied since the military victory of 1967. He melts, then gets married within the movement of " young people from the hills ”, supporters of Jewish sovereignty over all of biblical land.

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The feats of arms of this hundred very violent young people, hostile to the state, are closely followed by a thousand more integrated militants, who relay their voices in the colonies. Amiram Ben-Ouliel frequents Meir Ettinger, grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who died in 1990, a former deputy and the creator of the racist Kach party, which was banned late by the authorities. Amiram Ben-Ouliel had never been the subject of an intelligence investigation. In the summer of 2015, he lives on a bus in the Adei Ad colony, on a hill above Douma.

That night, around 4 am, he smashed the window of a peripheral house and threw several incendiary devices inside. The child, Ali Saad, is killed. Her father died from her injuries a month later and her mother died in September. Older brother Ahmed, 4, survives his injuries after long treatment.

General outrage

This attack is part of a recent series, including the murder of a participant in the Gay Pride in Jerusalem. The indignation is general. “It was a turning point. The interrogation methods used by the Shin Bet (the internal intelligence service) Palestinian terrorists were not then against Jews. We rarely read the very word “Jewish terrorism” in the newspapers ”, notes a former Shin Bet boss, Ami Ayalon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises exemplary severity.

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