'Allahu akbar' chants as Duma murder trial begins

Dawabsha relatives, Arab activists spar with defendants' family in opening day of trial for Duma arson.

David Rosenberg ,

Arab protestors demand justice in Duma case.
Arab protestors demand justice in Duma case.

The trial of Amiram Ben-Uliel and a 17-year-old alleged accomplice, both charged with killing three members of the Dawabsha family in an arson attack, began on Wednesday against the backdrop of angry clashes between the defendants’ families and relatives and supporters of the victims.

Today’s hearing was closed to the public, leaving supporters on both sides to clash just outside the hearing room.

Arab activists chanted “Allahu akbar” outside of the courtroom and nearly sparked a fistfight with relatives of the accused before being removed by court security.

The accused, Ben-Uliel, a 21-year-old Jerusalem father of one, allegedly plotted with the 17-year-old co-conspirator to attack the Dawabsha home in response to the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld in June of 2015.

According to the indictment, Ben-Uliel tossed a Molotov cocktail into the Dawabsha home, sparking a fire killing three members of the family.

Ben-Uliel confessed to the crime, then later recanted, claiming that his confession was forced and accusing the Shin Bet security agency of torture. His wife and parents also deny the charges.