First Published: 2018-03-17

Israel punishes family members of West Bank attacker
Israeli forces arrest brother, uncle of Palestinian accused of killing two soldiers in illegally occupied West Bank, rescind extended family members' work permits, demolish their home.
Middle East Online

Checkpoint near site where Palestinian rammed car into group of occupation soldiers in the illegally occupied West Bank.

TEL AVIV - Israeli forces have arrested a brother and an uncle of a Palestinian accused of killing two soldiers in a car ramming late on Friday in the illegally occupied West Bank, Israeli occupation forces said.

The alleged driver of the vehicle -- identified as Alaa Kabha, born in 1991 -- was already in custody having been detained injured at the scene and taken to hospital under guard.

Friday's car ramming, close to the illegal Jewish-only settlement of Mevo Dotan near Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, also wounded two soldiers, one of them seriously.

Tensions were high after Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas called for a day of rage on Friday to commemorate 100 days since US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinians too see the city as their capital and Trump's recognition broke with decades of US policy that the status of the city would be negotiated between the parties.

At least 31 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since Trump's announcement, which set off major protests.

Hamas praised the attack but did not claim responsibility for it.

According to Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency, Kabha had previously been interned but was released in April last year.

Israeli soldiers inspected his family home following Friday's attack in readiness to demolish it.

Authorities also rescinded the permits of 67 of members of his extended family to work in Israel and those of 26 to do business with it.

Human rights groups condemn such measures as collective punishment, but the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says they are a deterrent to attacks on Israelis.

Car rammings are a tactic that has been used repeatedly in a wave of lone wolf attacks that has hit Israel and the Palestinian territories since October 2015.

The frequency of such attacks had abated but has picked up again since Trump's Jerusalem announcement.

 

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