Palestinian toddler dies in arson attack

A suspected “price tag,” or retaliation, arson attack by Jewish settlers killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child in a house in the occupied West Bank and injured several other people, according to Israeli police.

The toddler died in a house fire which broke out in a village of Kafr Duma near the West Bank city of Nablus, Reuters reports.

The victim’s four-year-old brother and both parents were also injured and have been brought to the hospital. The attack took place in the early hours of the morning when the family was fast asleep and could not react immediately.

The house was reportedly destroyed by fire at the time the family was sleeping inside, RT reported.

The infamous “price tag” tactic, typically used by radical Jewish settlers attacking Palestinian homes, Christian churches, mosques and government buildings, in response to Palestinian attacks on Jewish settlements, was daubed on the walls of the family’s home.

The death of a child will inevitably aggravate Israeli-Palestinian tensions at the time when the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pursues the controversial settlement expansion policy in the occupied territories.

Just this Wednesday, Netanyahu approved the construction of 300 new homes in the central West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit El despite international condemnation. US State Department responded by a statement criticizing the “illegitimate” construction.

However, Israeli authorities have, at the same time, disgruntled some of the Jewish settlers in Beit El, as the Supreme Court has ordered that two blocks of houses illegally built on the Palestinian-owned land in the same area be torn down. The demolition sparked fierce resistance, with settlers protesting and clashing with police on Tuesday.