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Israel arrests Jews suspected of praising Palestinian family murder

THE LEVANT NEWS -- Israeli police said Tuesday they have arrested four Jewish men suspected of being among gun-waving extremists filmed celebrating the killing of a Palestinian toddler in a firebomb attack.

They were shown in a wedding video, broadcast last week by an Israeli news channel, which spread online and drew strong condemnation from Israeli politicians including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Four people have been arrested until now," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

"An investigation was opened last week and during this week four people were arrested and are scheduled to appear tomorrow morning in front of a Jerusalem court" for a remand hearing, he said.

"That's in connection with the weapons that were at the wedding and other things."

He gave no further details but Israeli public radio said among those arrested were the groom, a soldier who lent his assault rifle to another reveller and a former activist of the outlawed Kach extremist movement, allegedly shown brandishing a weapon and calling for revenge against Arabs.

The video showed wedding guests dancing with guns, knives and at least one unlit Molotov cocktail, while also slashing a picture of the toddler killed with his parents in a firebombing attack on their home blamed on Jewish extremists.

Israeli media reported that the groom had previously been questioned over acts of "Jewish terrorism" while other attendees were friends or relatives of suspects arrested over the July firebombing.

Netanyahu called the video "shocking" and said it showed "the true face of a group that constitutes a danger to Israeli society and to the security of Israel".

In recent weeks, Israel has arrested a number of suspected Jewish extremists over the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, though no one has been charged.

The attack killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha on the spot, while his parents later died from severe burns. The couple's four-year-old son was the sole survivor from the immediate family.

A Star of David and the words "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" were spray-painted on a wall near the family's small house.

Palestinians have often highlighted the lack of progress in the Duma case as one of the causes of a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks targeting Israelis that began on Oct. 1.

Source: Agence France Presse

Written by The Levant