Palestinian toddler killed in suspected Jewish extremist attack

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A 'Price Tag' Attack In The West Bank Has Killed A Toddler

Suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank on Friday, killing an 18-month-old baby and seriously injuring several other family members, an act that Israel's prime minister described as terrorism.

The house in Duma, a small village near the city of Nablus, was torched in the early morning as the family slept. Graffiti in Hebrew reading "revenge" was scrawled on the wall outside, police and witnesses said.

Both the child's parents and his four-year-old brother were badly hurt. They were taken by helicopter for treatment in an Israeli hospital, officials said.

See photos from the scene:

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Palestinian toddler killed in suspected extremist attack
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Palestinian toddler killed in suspected Jewish extremist attack
Meir Ettinger, the head of a Jewish extremist group, stands at the Israeli justice court in Nazareth Illit on August 4, 2015, a day after his arrest. Police said Ettinger, who is aged around 20, was suspected of 'nationalist crimes' but did not accuse him of direct involvement in last week's firebombing in which a Palestinian toddler was burnt to death in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He is a grandson of Meir Kahane, a rabbi who founded the racist anti-Arab movement Kach and was assassinated in 1990 in New York. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians carry the body of one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The sleeping toddler was burned to death when suspected Jewish assailants set fire to two Palestinian homes in a West Bank village early Friday, an attack that also critically wounded the child's 4-year-old brother and parents and outraged both Israelis and Palestinians. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians carry the body of one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The sleeping toddler was burned to death when suspected Jewish assailants set fire to two Palestinian homes in a West Bank village early Friday, an attack that also critically wounded the child's 4-year-old brother and parents and outraged both Israelis and Palestinians. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinian man mourns alongside the body of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. A sleeping toddler was burned to death when suspected Jewish assailants set fire to two Palestinian homes in a West Bank village early Friday, an attack that also critically wounded the child's 4-year-old brother and parents and outraged both Israelis and Palestinians. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians carry the body of one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The sleeping toddler was burned to death when suspected Jewish assailants set fire to two Palestinian homes in a West Bank village early Friday, an attack that also critically wounded the child's 4-year-old brother and parents and outraged both Israelis and Palestinians. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A relative holds up a photo of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, in a house that had been torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The boy died in the fire, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the Nablus area. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinian man inspects a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the Nablus area. at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
DUMA,WEST BANK - JULY 31: Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank. A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injured both parents and a four year old brother. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
Israeli policemen inspect a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the area, at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
DUMA,WEST BANK - JULY 31: Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank. A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injured both parents and a four year old brother. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
DUMA,WEST BANK - JULY 31: Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank. A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injured both parents and a four year old brother. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
Israeli policemen inspect a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers, killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the area. at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians inspect a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the area. at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
DUMA,WEST BANK - JULY 31: Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank. A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injured both parents and a four year old brother. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
DUMA,WEST BANK - JULY 31: Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank. A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injured both parents and a four year old brother. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
Israeli policemen inspect a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the area at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The writing in Hebrew reads: "Revenge". (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Photos of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, lie in a house that had been torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. The boy died in the fire, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the Nablus area. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinian inspects a house after it was torched in a suspected attack by Jewish settlers, killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child, his four-year-old brother and parents were wounded, according to a Palestinian official from the area, at Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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It was the worst attack by Israeli extremists since a Palestinian teenager was torched to death in Jerusalem a year ago. That followed the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinian militants in the West Bank.

Ibrahim Dawabsheh, a Duma resident, said he heard people shouting for help from the house and rushed to it. "I saw two masked men outside," he told Reuters. He went to call for help and when he returned they were gone, Dawabsheh said.

"We found the parents outside with burns, they said there was another son in the house, we brought him out and then they said there was another boy inside, but we couldn't reach the bedroom because of the fire. He was left inside until rescue forces came," Dawabsheh told Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was shocked. "This is a terrorist attack. Israel takes firm action against terrorism, no matter who its perpetrators are," he said in a statement, adding that "all means" would be used to bring the assailants to justice.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said an investigation was underway and called the attack

"nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism."

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was responsible. "Such a crime would not have occurred if the Israeli government did not insist on pursuing settlements and protecting settlers," Nabil Abu Rdainah said in a statement on the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the torching was an apparent "Price Tag" attack, a reference to militant settlers who threaten to exact retribution for any Israeli government curbs on settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Israel tore down two illegal structures in the Beit El settlement near Ramallah and removed dozens of people from another settlement near Nablus on Wednesday, sparking protests.

The "Price Tag" group has been blamed for torching a number of mosques in the West Bank in recent years. Those attacks caused widespread damage but no casualties.

Though Israel has vowed to crack down on such assailants only a handful of indictments have been handed down.

The Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, the Palestinians have limited self rule, but nearly 60 percent of the territory remains under full control of the Israeli military.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. The last round of U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell and Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Paul Tait and Dominic Evans)

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