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Tear gas thrown in Palestinian home by suspected Jewish extremists

An AFP journalist at the scene hours later said the smell of tear gas remained strong in the house

Published: Updated:

Two tear gas canisters were thrown into a Palestinian home near Ramallah on Tuesday by suspected Jewish extremists, Israeli police said, but the family there at the time was not hurt.

The pre-dawn attack in the village of Beitillu came with tensions high over the detention of alleged Jewish extremists for the July firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed a toddler along with his mother and father.

Graffiti written in Hebrew near the home in Beitillu in the occupied West Bank appeared to make reference to the suspects’ detention, saying “revenge” and “hello from the prisoners of Zion.”

“Unknown men threw two gas canisters in the small house of a Palestinian family,” Israeli police said.

They added that the family was there at the time and was not hurt, but did not provide further details.

An AFP journalist at the scene hours later said the smell of tear gas remained strong in the house, with a window broken where the canisters were apparently thrown.

Israeli authorities in recent weeks have arrested a number of suspected Jewish extremists over the July 31 deadly firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, though no one has been charged with the crime.

Their detentions have sparked anger among far-right Israelis who have protested, including outside the home of a judge, while lawyers have alleged torture of suspects by the Shin Bet domestic security agency.

The firebombing killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha, while both of his parents later died from severe burn wounds. The couple’s four-year-old son was the sole survivor from the immediate family.

A Star of David and the words “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” were spray-painted on a wall near the family’s small house.

Palestinians have often highlighted the lack of progress in the Duma case as among the causes of a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks targeting Israelis that began on October 1.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon recently said Israel was determined to bring those responsible to trial, adding that he considered the arson “a Jewish terrorist act.”

The attack drew renewed attention to Jewish extremism and accusations Israel had not done enough to prevent such violence.

Young Jewish men from wildcat settlement outposts in the West Bank and known as the “hilltop youth” have been blamed for violence and vandalism targeting Palestinians, Christian holy sites and even Israeli military property.