Israeli forces raid village of driver who killed two soldiers

Israel suspends work permits of at least 100 members of Palestinian family as retaliation for suspected car-ramming.

Israeli soldiers are seen during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin
The incident happened as other confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces took place across the West Bank [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

The Israeli army has raided the Palestinian village of Bartaa, arresting the brother of a man who has been accused of carrying out a car-ramming attack that killed two Israeli soldiers.

The incident on Friday happened amid protests in the occupied West Bank against the US’ plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Alaa Rattab-a-Latif Kabha, the suspected driver of the car, was reportedly captured by Israeli security forces and lightly injured, after he had fled the scene of the suspected attack.

“They raided the village at around 7pm (17:00 GMT) on Friday, questioning Alaa’s entire family and tampering with their belongings in their home,” Ghassan Kabha, the village leader and a relative of the suspect, told Al Jazeera.

“They [Israeli forces] returned at 3am and raided another 30 homes in the village, leaving a series of threats to various members of our 8,000-member community,” he said.

Israeli forces have also suspended work permits of at least 100 members of the Kabha family as retaliation for the suspected attack that also injured two people, local media reported.

The suspension could amount to the cancellation of approximately 67 work and 26 commerce permits, the Israeli military said, in response to the incident that took place near the illegal Israeli settlement of Mevo Dotan, west of the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

At least 50,000 Palestinians in the occupied territories have resorted to working in Israel as low-skilled workers, due to the dire economic conditions they face.

The 26-year-old driver’s relative described the incident as an “accident”.

“It was reported as such in the Israeli media at the beginning, but they were quick to change the narrative,” Ghassan said. 

Following the incident, Alaa was taken to a hospital for treatment, where he was questioned.

According to Ghassan, Israeli forces barred a lawyer representing the family from seeing Alaa upon his arrival to the hospital on Friday evening.

The incident happened as other confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces took place in several places across the West Bank.

Palestinian news agency WAFA said Israeli forces closed down a checkpoint near the illegal settlement.

“They [Israeli army] shut off the main road leading to Jenin,” Ghassan said. “We’ve become completely encircled and trapped – we cannot leave the village at this time.”

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defence minister, called for the death penalty for Kabha and accused the Palestinian Authority of being behind Friday’s incident.

Elsewhere in the occupied territories, demonstrations were held to commemorate 100 days of rage since US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcement of the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The rallies saw at least three Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers suffer injuries.

Source: Al Jazeera