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Father of Palestinian toddler killed in arson attack dies of wounds

RAMALLAH: The father of a Palestinian toddler killed in an arson attack on his home a week ago died on Saturday of wounds sustained in the fire.

Suspected Jewish attackers torched the home of Saad Dawabsheh in the West Bank village of Duma on July 31, killing his 18-month-old child and seriously injuring his wife and a second son, an act that Israel’s prime minister described as terrorism.

A spokeswoman for Soroka hospital in Israel where Dawabsheh had been receiving treatment said he died early on Saturday.

Hundreds of Palestinians rallied at Dawabsheh’s funeral in Duma and called on militant factions to take revenge for the deaths.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet has come under growing pressure to crack down on violent far-right Jewish groups since the attack which claimed the life of the toddler and the man while the government decided to allow harsher interrogations of suspected Jewish militants with methods once reserved for Palestinian detainees.

It also said it would start detaining citizens suspected of political violence against Palestinians without a trial, another practice previously used only on Palestinian suspects.

Netanyahu put out a statement expressing his “deep sorrow” over Dawabsheh’s death.

“When I visited the family at the hospital last week, I promised we would use all the tools at our disposal to catch the murderers and bring them to justice, and that is what we are doing,” he said. “We will not accept terror from any side.”

The United Nations repeated its call for swift action against the attackers.

“Political, community and religious leaders on all sides should work together and not allow extremists to escalate the situation and take control of the political agenda,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

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