Friday, March 16, 2018

16-Mar-18 [UPDATED]: An Arab-on-Israeli vehicle ramming in the Samarian hills Friday afternoon; tragic results

This screen shot from a video clip taken at the scene and uploaded to the
Hebrew-language site shows the attack vehicle, a relatively new
SUV with severe damage from striking multiple human beings,
killing some of them
Reports a short time ago, just before Shabbat starts, say there has been what seems like yet another Arab-on-Israeli vehicle-ramming attack, this time with disastrous consequences. The precise details seem still, at 5:00 pm, to be cloudy. We will update once we have firmer information.

Times of Israel says a Palestinian Arab driving on Route 585 close to the entrance to the Israeli community of Mevo Dotan (population: about 400) in the north Samarian hills, has plowed into four Israeli service personnel, all around 20 years old. There are also reports saying five. All are said to be in a bad way.

Israel National News says two of the Israelis are dead (but this is not confirmed yet). It appears two others are in serious condition.

The driver is evidently (though not confirmed) in Israeli custody.

Ynet says it's not yet clear whether the ramming was deliberate or accidental. It describes the driver as 26, from the Arab town of Barta'a in the Wadi Ara region. He is said to have light-to-moderate injuries and is being treated at the scene.

But the Jerusalem Post, in reporting on what happened, connects it to today being yet another in an endless series of organized seriously-violent tantrums. It says
Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces were reported on Friday afternoon as the Palestinians mark “100 days of rage” following US President’s Trump decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, channel 10 reported. 
UPDATE Saturday March 17, 2018 after sundown: The Palestinian Arab "resistance" reminds us that what they are about has much more to do with blood-lust and bigotry than with building something good for themselves. Times of Israel reports:
  • The Palestinian Authority has so far said nothing official about the killings.
  • "Several Palestinian terror groups and activists on Friday praised the “heroic” car-ramming attack in which two IDF solders were killed near Jenin, saying it was an “appropriate” response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • "While no group claimed direct responsibility for the terror attack, it came after Palestinian groups had called for Friday to be a “day of rage,” in response to Trump’s December decision.
  • Hamas said: “This heroic and courageous operation underscores our people’s insistence on pursuing the path of resistance”. One of its spokespersons Abdel Latif al-Qanua, said the “heroic operation underlines the vitality and continuity of the intifada, and our people’s rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem.” Another, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that the terrorist attack was a “message” to those who have been calling on his terror group to lay down its weapons. “It is also a message to the effect that there is no future for those who conduct security cooperation,” he said, referring to the cooperation between the Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank and the IDF.
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian Arab terror group, said the attack was a response to  “Zionist terrorism” and called for more attacks to “foil the Zionist-American plot to obliterate the Palestinian cause.”
  • Speaking for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of the terrorist outfits operating under  the umbrella of the PLO, Talal Abu Zarifeh said the vehicle-ramming was a “natural response to Israeli crimes” and a sign that the uprising was continuing.
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also part of the PLO, said Friday's murderous attack had “trampled Trump’s decision on Jerusalem – 100 days since he announced it.”
  • Palestinian Arab sources have named the vehicle rammer as Ala Qabha, 26. The Times of Israel report says he is injured, was taken to hospital for treatment, and will be interrogated there. His family say the lethal ramming attack "was an accident and not an attack, with one relative telling Haaretz that the young man was a painter, and had been on his way home from Jenin after buying supplies. “He’s not politically affiliated and doesn’t belong to any organization,” he said." But it also quotes Haaretz saying that Qabha was serving time in an Israeli prison until April 2017. The Hadashot news service he had been imprisoned for security-related activities.
  • A second Palestinian Arab male was treated by the Palestinian Red Crescent. We don't know at this stage how he was involved.
  • As we wrote on Friday, two of the Israeli victims have died. Another, a soldier, suffered severe head trauma and is fighting for his life. 
  • A second soldier is in serious condition.
UPDATE Saturday March 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm: From Ynet:
"Meanwhile, Shin Bet released a statement Saturday evening saying that while the terrorist initially insisted the attack was merely an accident, he confessed under interrogation to having acted under nationalistic motives. Kabha's brother remains in custody and the degree of his potential involvement in the attack is still being investigated. Shin Bet added that no other persons involved in the attack or aware of Kabha's intentions were known at present, meaning he was a "lone wolf" terrorist acting without the guidance of a terror group."
Under the Palestinian Authority's Martyrs Fund (in dozens of our posts we refer to it as the PA Rewards for Terror scheme) rules, this renders him qualified to start receiving reward payments. These send a signal to Palestinian Arab society that what the attacker did is precisely the kind of action that the PA leadership needs, wants, encourages and finances.

UPDATE Sunday March 18, 2018 at 9:00 am:
The names of the two young Israelis killed in Friday's ramming-by-terrorist attack have been released, now that the families have been notified. They are Captain Ziv Daos, 21, from Azor, near Tel Aviv, who was a platoon commander in a Home Front Command search and rescue unit; and Sergeant Netanel Kahalani, 20, from Elyakim in northern Israel, a driver in the Menashe Regional Brigade. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

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