JERUSALEM - Israel on Thursday announced the arrests of several Jewish extremists with possible connections to an arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents in July. The case has enraged Palestinians and been a key factor fueling a two-month-old wave of violence.
The developments came as two Palestinians were shot and killed following separate attacks on Israelis on Thursday.
Palestinians have repeatedly claimed that Israel's slow movement in making arrests in the arson reflected what they see as an unfair justice system that moves swiftly in finding Palestinian suspects in violence. They frequently cite the lack of progress as a source of anger behind a string of attacks that began in mid-September and show no signs of ending.
In the latest violence, police said, a Palestinian was shot and killed near the Old City after stabbing and wounding an Israeli officer. Earlier in the day, the Israeli military said, a Palestinian opened fire on Israelis outside of Jerusalem, wounding two before security forces shot and killed him.
The arson in July took place in the West Bank village of Duma where assailants, believed to be Jewish extremists, lobbed a firebomb during the night into the Dawabsheh family's home, where four family members were asleep. Toddler Ali Dawabsheh was burned to death while his mother and father later died of their wounds. The boy's 4-year-old brother, Ahmad, was also hurt in the attack and is still being treated in an Israeli hospital.
Hebrew graffiti reading "revenge" was sprayed on the walls of the home, indicating that the attackers were possibly Jewish.
Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the attack, but the lack of suspects has remained a sore point among Palestinians.
The Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency, said Thursday that it had arrested a number of youths belonging to a "Jewish terrorist" organization.