West Bank on lockdown after 'car ramming kills two'

West Bank on lockdown after 'car ramming kills two'
In the wake of a fatal car ramming attack in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have initiated a series of punitive measures against the alleged attacker's family.
2 min read
17 March, 2018
Cars queue up as Israeli forces set up checkpoints in the northern West Bank [Getty]
Israeli forces have imposed a series of collective punishment measures against the family of the suspected perpetrator of a car ramming attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Reihan in the northern West Bank on Friday.

The attack killed two Israeli soldiers and a further three are in critical condition.

The alleged attacker, identified as 26-year-old Alaa Ratib Qabha, was moderately injured in the attack and taken to Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, Israel. He is reported to have previously spent 17 months in Israeli jail before being released last April.

Dozens of Israeli troops raided the village of Barta'a, near Jenin, on Friday evening, including the home of the Qabha family, where they arrested Alaa's brother Issam, 25, after searching the house and interrogating the family.

Israeli military announced the suspension of 100 work permits of family members of the attacker. 

A statement by the military said that security forces arrived at the house of the attack's perpetrator and arrested his brother in addition to freezing 67 work permits for Israel as well as 26 trade licences and four work permits for the West Bank.

Israeli forces also put the area on lockdown by setting up barriers and checkpoints at entry and exit points to the village.

In the wake of the attack, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he intended to "apply the death penalty to the perpetrator of the attack, demolish his family's home" and "punish" anyone who cooperated with him.

Collective punishment - deemed a violation of international law - is used routinely by Israel against families of Palestinians who carry out attacks. Such punishment usually consists of home demolitions and mass arrests.

Authorities investigate the scene of the car ramming near the settlement of Reihan [Getty]

Friday's attack coincides with the 100-day anniversary of US President Donald Trump's announcement to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which has since sparked widespread civil unrest and a series of diplomatic spats.