By Jeffrey Heller
JERUSALEM, Dec 22 – Tear gas grenades were thrown into a Palestinian home on Tuesday in what Israeli police believe was an attack by Jewish militants angered by the detention of comrades suspected of killing a Palestinian toddler and his parents in July.
No one was hurt in the incident overnight in the village of Beitillu in the occupied West Bank, a police spokeswoman said.
But it coincided with growing Israeli ultranationalist anger over what one cabinet minister called uncommon interrogation methods used against suspects in the fatal arson attack on a house in Duma village five months ago.
Suspected Jewish attackers torched the Dawabsheh family’s home in the northern West Bank on July 31, killing Ali, an 18-month-old toddler. His father Saad and mother Riham succumbed several weeks later to injuries sustained in the attack.
Several suspected Jewish ultranationalists have been arrested in that case, with a court gag order on their exact numbers and identities in place.
The words “Revenge” and “Hello from the detainees of Zion” were daubed on the wall of the home attacked on Tuesday, an apparent reference to the suspects in the Duma arson investigation.
Court documents released on Monday showed that a lawyer for one of the suspects alleged that violent interrogation methods were being used against his client. An official transcript of the hearing noted that security officials had provided details of the questioning, but further details were redacted.
Hundreds of right-wing protesters demonstrated in Jerusalem on Saturday in support of the detainees.
A court official said security had been stepped up outside the home of a judge presiding over the case, and postings on social media, including a photograph of the jurist emblazoned with the word “guilty”, accused him of failing to stop Shin Bet mistreatment of the suspects.
Asked on Army Radio on Tuesday whether the detainees were “being tortured by the Shin Bet”, Israel’s domestic security service, Security Cabinet member Naftali Bennett said government officials were monitoring the situation.
“I can announce that all the actions being carried out – and they are certainly exceptional actions in light of the exceptional situation – are all overseen and under tight legal scrutiny – in order to prevent the next terror attack,” he said.
Referring to Tuesday’s tear gas attack, Bennett, head of the far-right Jewish Home party, said: “Terrorism is terrorism. They tried here to murder another family in its sleep.”