US condemns terrorist attack that killed Palestinian toddler

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Palestinian Child Killed in West Bank Attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is condemning an arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the West Bank that killed a Palestinian toddler, branding it a "vicious terrorist" act that must be punished.

In a Friday statement, the State Department welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's condemnation of the attack and called for Israeli authorities to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. It also urged all sides to maintain calm and not escalate tensions.

Photos from the tragic scene:

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Palestinian toddler killed in suspected extremist attack
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US condemns terrorist attack that killed Palestinian toddler
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)
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)
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)
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)
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The sleeping toddler was burned to death when the assailants set fire to two Palestinian homes early Friday, also critically wounding the child's 4-year-old brother and parents.

The attack has outraged both Israelis and Palestinians and further stirred Palestinian fears that Israel allows attacks by militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank to go unpunished.

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