TEL AVIV – Israel will demolish the home of the Palestinian terrorist who on Friday afternoon ran over and killed two IDF soldiers and wounded two others, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Saturday night.
“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,” Netanyahu said.
“We will work to demolish the home of the terrorist and will deal with him to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.
The attack took place near the Mevo Dotan settlement in the West Bank. Capt. Ziv Daus, 21, from Azor near Jaffa and Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, 20, from Moshav Elyakim, were killed on impact.
Both received posthumous promotions, Daus to that of lieutenant while Kahalani earned the rank of sergeant.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikva. One suffered severe trauma to the head and is in serious condition. The other is in moderate condition, the IDF said.
In a statement, President Reuven Rivlin sent “a hug of comfort and strength to the families of the dead and prayers for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”
“We will not rest until we bring all the collaborators to justice; we will not allow terror to become an existing reality,” he added.
26-year-old Ala Qabha of the village of Barta’a near Jenin confessed to carrying out the attack, the Shin Bet security service said. He did a U-turn and rammed his car into the soldiers standing outside their jeep, accelerating into them, eliminating any doubt that the attack was deliberate.
Qabha’s family, however, maintained that it was an accident.
“This isn’t the first car accident like this and won’t be the last,” his father Rateb Qabha told the Walla news site. “You hear about accidents like these every day in the news.”
When pressed as to why his son was already known to intelligence services and had even served a stint in an Israeli prison recently, Qabha said it was nothing and that he had only been “stone throwing or something like that.”
The Hamas terror group praised the attack, saying it “proves our people’s readiness to continue the Jerusalem intifada.”
“This heroic and courageous operation underscores our people’s insistence on pursuing the path of resistance,” a statement published by Hamas said.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said the attack was a response to “Zionist terrorism” and called on Palestinians to carry out further attacks to “foil the Zionist-American plot to obliterate the Palestinian cause.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that the attack had “trampled Trump’s decision on Jerusalem – 100 days since he announced it,” in reference to President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Palestinian Authority has so far issued no condemnation of the attack.