Two Israeli Soldiers Killed in West Bank Car-ramming Attack; Third Soldier in Critical Condition

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Friday in a car-ramming attack near theWest Banksettlement of Reihan.

The victims were taken to Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital by helicopter. According to the hospital, one of the wounded soldiers suffered a head injury and is in critical condition, while the fourth victim sustained moderate wounds.

Snapshot of a video from the scene
Snapshot of a video from the sceneMDA Israel Spokesperson

According to the Israeli military, the deadly incident was a terror attack deliberately targeting soldiers. The driver, Ala Rateb Abd al-Latif Kabha, who has previously served a prison sentence for security felonies, was arrested and questioned at the scene. He sustained light to moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital near Hadera.

Ala, 27, is a resident of the town of Barta’a. He was discharged in April 2017 after serving a 17-month prison term. According to Shin Bet, “the work assessment is we’re talking about a terror attack. Alaa was transfered for interrogation by security forces.”

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, has ordered the immediate suspension of work permits for the Ala’s family. The family has 67 work permits in Israel and 26 commerce permits.

A relative of Ala told Haaretz that “Ala works in paint. He came to Jenin to purchase paint and was on his way home. He’s not politically affiliated or a part of any organization. We believe this is an unfortunate accident and not a terrorist attack, as they claim.”

The attacker, Ala Rateb Abd al-Latif Kabha
The attacker, Ala Rateb Abd al-Latif Kabha

In a statement, Hamas stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack but noted that the car ramming happened exactly 100 days after U.S. President Donald Trumprecognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Islamic Jihad stated that they “commend the continued intensification of attacks against the occupation’s soldiers and settlers. These are legitimate acts for the Palestinian people meant to defend itself and its lands and its holy sites.”

Defense MinisterAvigdor Lieberman, commenting on his Twitter account, condemned the attack as an act of terrorism supported by Palestinian Authority PresidentMahmoud Abbas, and promised that “we will act” for the destruction of the terrorist’s home and the punishment of all those who aided him.

The Magen David Adom rescue service received a report at 4:15 P.M. that four young men been injured after being hit by a Palestinian car on Route 585 between the settlements of Mevo Dotan and Hermesh.

Earlier this month,an Israeli Border Police officer and two soldiers were lightly woundedin two separate car-ramming attacks in the northern Israeli city of Acre. The driver was shot by a witness and was hospitalized in critical condition.

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