Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials are offering competing explanations for a fire that broke out next door to the home of three members of a Palestinian family killed in an attack allegedly committed by Jewish arsonists.
PA officials quickly reacted to reports of a fire early Wednesday morning near the house in Duma, where three Arabs were killed in last year’s firebombing, by blaming "Jewish extremists."
Palestinian Authority Civil Defense units extinguished Wednesday morning’s fire, which caused no injuries.
An Israel Police investigation so far has determined that the fire, believed to have been started when a Molotov cocktail was hurled at the house, resulted from a conflict between residents of the village and was not nationalistically motivated.
However, the homeowner and several Palestinian officials claimed Jews were responsible for starting the fire. Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official, said that “Jewish settlers” are “the primary suspects” and that the objects used to start the fire are “not available in the Palestinian market” - a strange contention given the prolific use of Molotov cocktails by Arab terrorists.
In March, the home of another Duma resident — a key witness in last July’s firebombing — also caught fire. However, the Israel Police and Shin Bet security service said their investigation did not indicate arson.
Three people, including a baby, perished as a result of the July 2015 fire. Three defendants, two men and a minor, are currently standing trial for that incident.
But a string of fires before and after that attack have fueled speculation that that incident, too, may have in actual fact been the result of internal clan feuding.