18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was killed last week when a firebomb was hurled at his home in West Bank. The fire ravaged the Dawabshehs' house in the middle of the night, leaving Ali and his brother, 4-year-old Ahmad, stranded inside with parents Saad and Reham Dawabsheh.
Relatives managed to rescue some of the terrorized family, but as a blast rang through the house, they realized it was too late to save Ali.
When the fire cooled down, paramedics located what looked like a charred lump of coal – all that remained of Ali. The fragile body was buried wrapped in a Palestinian flag.
Then a community and family already grieving was hit with more sadness: father Saad died of his wounds on Saturday.
What remains after a week: the charred walls of the Dawabsheh family home, bearing slogans in Hebrew reading "Revenge"; a mother, who sustained third-degree burns on 90% of her body, and little boy still fighting for their lives; a father whose fire-ravaged body could no longer hang on to life; and an unfulfilled quest for justice.
Israeli authorities have been almost unanimous in their condemnation for the attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack a “reprehensible and horrific act of terrorism in every respect,” and the minister of internal security urged the Israeli people to do some "soul-searching."
But these cannot just be empty words. When the perpetrators are found, they face six months in prison with no trial (the same thing detained Palestinians are subjected to.) Israel must then follow up by hitting anyone convicted with a sentence that addresses this barbaric crime in the strongest possible way.
For comparison, let's remember that Palestinian teens throwing stones at Israeli soldiers can get up to 20 years in prison. What is the life of a child and father worth?
Tensions are bound to escalate in West Bank, with no one identified as yet as a subject in this horrible attached. When the guilty are finally found, Palestinians must not be told again that their lives are worthless to Israeli authorities.