The mother of a Palestinian toddler killed in an arson attack took a sharp turn for the worse Saturday as Israeli hospital officials placed her on the critical list and deemed the next 24 hours vital for her survival. Riham Dawabsheh’s 18 month-old son Ali died in the July 31 fire, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists. Dawabsheh’s husband Saad succumbed thefollowing week while older son Ahmad, 4, remains in recovery from severe burns.
Officials at Israel’s Sheba Hospital Center told the Jerusalem Post Riham Dawabsheh’s life was in immediate danger as of Saturday afternoon. Manor Dawabsheh, a cousin, said Dawabsheh had been unresponsive for more than a month.
“Every day we come to the hospital, and we stay with her, but there is no change. From my perspective, I lost her already then during the fire,” Manor Dawabsheh told the Jerusalem Post.
The nighttime fire occurred at the family’s home in Duma, a northern West Bank hamlet. A star of David was found painted on a wall nearby alongside Hebrew messages including the word “revenge,” further heightening tensions between Palestinian villagers and Jewish settlers.
Israeli politicians and Palestinian officials denounced the attack, which both sides deemed an act of terrorism. Israeli police arrested several suspects in the arson in August but have filed no charges related to the attack.
Dawabsheh’s condition remains similarly uncertain. Her cousin expressed desperation to the Jerusalem Post Saturday.
"I highly doubt she will survive this," he said.