2 Israeli soldiers dead; car-ramming terrorist admits he wanted to kill

The Palestinian terrorist who committed a deadly car-ramming Friday, a former security prisoner, admits he wanted to kill Israelis.

By: Adina Katz, World Israel News

Two IDF soldiers were killed in a terror attack in northern Samaria Friday afternoon, near the Israeli community of Mevo Dotan, when 26-year-old Ala Qabha rammed his vehicle into security forces before fleeing the scene. He was later found and arrested.

The victims were named Saturday night as Ziv Daos, 21, and Netanel Kalahani, 20.

Three others, also in their 20s, were injured. Two seriously wounded victims underwent a series of operations overnight. One remains in critical condition.

Qabha was reportedly released from prison last year after serving a 17-month sentence for terror-related activities.

Security forces carried out operations throughout the night in the village of Barta’a, Qabha’s hometown, where they arrested his brother and uncle, whom they suspect of having been accomplices in the attack.

The terrorist originally claimed the incident was a car accident. Under questioning, he admitted that he purposely carried out the attack with the intention to kill Israelis, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.

Qabha’s family continues to deny the motive. “It was a car accident, like any accident you hear every day,” he told Walla News. “This is not the first and not the last accident, and it happens every day.”

“I know my son very well,” he said. “It’s a guy who works, he has ambitions to get married and to build a home, he has no such thoughts, and I share the sorrow of the families of those killed.”

He also rejected the Hamas terror group’s statement of praise for the attack. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem noted the significance of the timing, which was “one hundred days after Trump’s decision to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem, and proves the readiness of our people to continue the course of the course of the intifada until full freedom is achieved.”

IDF: ‘No doubt attack was deliberate’

IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus confirmed that the attack was “indeed deliberate.”

Following the attack, Yoav Mordechai, head of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced an immediate freeze of permits for the terrorist’s family to enter Israel, including 67 work permits, 26 commercial and four employment licenses.

“From the depths of my heart, I send condolences to the families of the IDF officer and soldier who were murdered yesterday by a reprehensible terrorist and my best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday night. “We will work to demolish the home of the terrorist and will deal with him to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Throughout Shabbat, our prayers and thoughts were with the families of the victims of the terrible terror attack that took place as the Sabbath began on Friday afternoon. I send a warm embrace of comfort and strength to the families of those killed and we pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded. May all the security forces be strengthened, operating in all arenas – in the field and in intelligence – to investigate those who perpetrated and assisted in the attack. We will not rest until we bring all those who cooperate with terror to justice, we will not allow terror to become an accepted norm,” President Reuven Rivlin stated.

Liberman blames PA, calls for death penalty

“We will act to sentence the terrorist to death, demolish his home and punish anyone who participated in the attack. There is no such thing as a ‘lone terrorist.’ It is a terrorist supported by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) paying money to the terrorists’ families,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted. “We’re going to stop them,” he vowed.

Israeli Ambasssador to the UN Danny Danon said that “as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to terrorists who kill Israelis, we will continue to see such heinous attacks. The international community must condemn this hateful act of terror and demand that the Palestinian leadership finally put an end to the despicable practice of ‘pay to slay.’”