Jewish man convicted of triple murder in arson attack; defense will appeal – ‘a dark day for Israel’

“It’s a dark day for the State of Israel,” said Ben-Uliel’s attorneys from the Honenu legal foundation in a statement. “This judgment is worthy of the third world.”

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

An Israeli court found Amiram Ben Uliel guilty on Monday of three counts of murder in the 2015 arson attack on a home in the Arab village of Kfar Duma, which killed three members of the Dawabsha family, including an 18-month-old.

Ben Uliel was acquitted on other charges of belonging to a terror organization. As the charges were read his wife burst out at the judges, “You put an innocent man in jail.”

His attorneys intend to appeal.

“It’s a dark day for the State of Israel,” said one of them, Shmuel Zangi Meidad, director of the Honenu legal foundation on Monday. “This judgment is worthy of the third world and of regimes that were part of the world that we hoped had passed from it 100 years ago.”

“Today a court in Israel lent a hand to condemning a man whose innocence cries to the heavens,” Meidad said.

“We believed that the State of Israel values human rights, that a citizen who’s been tortured in the harshest ways in the cellars of Shabak [Israel’s internal security services] until he was forced to confess for a crime he didn’t do would not be condemned on the basis of such admissions,” he said.

The Kfar Duma case has been ongoing for five years. Honenu has argued throughout that there were many discrepancies in the case.

It produced a series of films, “Exposing the Duma Blood Libel,” which purport to show the discrepancies between the main eyewitness testimony in the case and “the confession extracted under extreme duress from Amiram Ben Uliel.”

Honenu says that Israel’s security services extracted Ben Uliel’s confession by means of illegal torture.

Ben Uliel says in one of the videos, “They sat me on the chair, with my shoulder towards the back rest and forced my legs behind the chair legs. They positioned me with my back about 45 degrees backwards. The pain was extreme. I screamed horribly, and they didn’t pay any attention to me. Yells, screams, beatings, stabbing…”

The legal group also said that the high-ranking members in government and in the security services were eager to call it “Jewish terror” as Hebrew graffiti was found at the site, which it says did not match the handwriting of Ben Uliel.

Honenu notes that there have been “previous incidents in which Arab criminals spray painted similar graffiti designed to deceive the police and conceal the identity of the perpetrators.”

The attorney of the family that was killed said, “We are delighted with the court decision, but distressed by the acquittal on membership in a terrorist organization…  the decision will not bring back their family members, but will be a deterrent to others, so there won’t be another Dawabsha family.”

Hussein Dawabsha, the grandfather of the youngest victim, welcomed the verdict, but said “it will not bring back my daughter and her husband, but I do not want another family to go through this trauma.”

Amiram Ben-Uliel

Amiram Ben-Uliel (Courtesy)