Murder Charge Dropped Against Jewish Suspect in Arson Attack on Palestinians

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2019-05-12

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Israeli prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a Jewish suspect in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents.

Under a plea bargain, the unnamed suspect pleaded guilty to a racially motivated conspiracy and staking out the Palestinian village with a codefendant.

Prosecutors will seek a five-year prison sentence. They agreed not to pursue the more serious charge of murder, noting the suspect was a minor at the time of the attack.

The other suspect, identified as Amiram Ben Oliel, is in jail while the investigation continues.

The two allegedly firebombed the home belonging to the Dawabshe family in the West Bank village of Duma near Nablus.

The flames killed 18-month-old Ali and his parents. An older brother survived with serious burns.

The attack angered many Israelis, including conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who condemned it as "terrorism."

Ali's grandfather criticized the plea bargain, saying prosecutors are giving "a green light to a Jewish suspect, who will leave prison and continue the murder spree he and his friend started."