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Israeli hospital demands payment for burned child treatment Open in fullscreen

Naila Khalil

Israeli hospital demands payment for burned child treatment

Ahmad's brother, the 18-month-old toddler Ali Dawabsheh, died in the arson attack [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2015

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The Israeli hospital treating Ahmad Dawabsheh, the Palestinian child whose family were killed in an arson attack by Israeli settlers has demanded payment for his treatment.

The Israeli hospital treating Ahmad Dawabsheh, the four-year-old child who remains the only living member of the Palestinian family killed in a recent arson attack by Israeli settlers, has demanded payment for his treatment.

Tel HaShomer hospital, near Ramat Gan between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has billed the Palestinian ministry of health for expenses of around $38,000, it is understood.

"These demands reflect Israel's audacity," said Samir Dawabsheh, the spokesperson for the family.

"After they burnt and killed the family, leaving only an orphaned child, they are now demanding payment for treatment in an attempt to absolve themselves of the responsibility for the terrorist attack," he added.

Israeli settlers firebombed the Dawabsheh family home in the West Bank village of Duma on 31 July, killing father Saad Dawabsheh and 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, sparking a huge international outcry.

Ahmed and his mother, Riham, sustained serious burns and were hospitalised in Tel HaShomer, where Riham died of her wounds on 7 September.

     After they burnt and killed the family, leaving only an orphaned child, they are now demanding payment
- Samir Dawabsheh


Samir Dawabsheh said that the hospital had demanded treatment fees for Riham a few days before she succumbed to her wounds, but Palestinian health officials assured the family that Israel was responsible for paying the bill.

The Palestinian ministry of health issued a statement on Thursday confirming the Israeli hospital's payment demands for the treatment of Ahmad Dawabsheh.

Responsibility

"The Israeli demands for payment are an abdication of responsibility for the crime committed by terrorist settlers who remain on the loose," said Essam al-Arouri, the director of the Jerusalem Centre for Legal Assistance.

"This behaviour by Israel does not come as a surprise, however, the occupation government is fully responsible for treatment under international law and political agreements because the crime took place in an area under occupation control."

Neither the family nor the Palestinian Authority had any say in which hospital the victims were taken to, therefore it is Israel's responsibility to treat the victims and find the perpetrators, in addition to compensating the family, said Arouri.

Israeli authorities recently refused to release the body of Fadi Alloun, a Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on October 4, until the family paid a refundable bond of approximately $18,000, according to Arouri.

When the Alloun family's lawyer attempted to reclaim the bond amount, Israeli officials deducted $6,000, claiming that the number of people at the teenager's funeral procession exceeded the allowed number set by Israeli authorities.

"I don't know what to call this but fascism," said Essam al-Arouri.

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