UN envoy urges Israel to do more to find Duma firebombers


(JTA) — The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process urged Israel to do more to bring to justice the perpetrators of a West Bank fire that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian boy and his parents.

Nikolay Mladenov issued a statement Wednesday expressing concern over the “slow progress” of the investigation into the July 31 firebombing attack believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists, the Times of Israel reported.

“Four months have passed since the arson attack against the Dawabsha family in the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank,” the statement noted.

The statement came two days after Israeli media reported a significant development in the investigation, but withheld details because of a gag order.

Israeli authorities have said that some of the suspects already may be jailed under Israel’s administrative detention policy. Israel introduced administrative detention for Jews after the Duma firebombing. The practice, which enables officials to hold suspects for six months without trial, has been applied for many years to Palestinian suspects.

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