2 Palestinians dead after suspected car-ramming against Israeli soldiers | News | DW | 04.03.2019
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2 Palestinians dead after suspected car-ramming against Israeli soldiers

Israeli military shot dead two Palestinians after their car allegedly rammed an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) vehicle in the West Bank. The IDF said the incident was a terror attack.

Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinians and injured a third near the West Bank city of Ramallah Monday after their car rammed into an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) vehicle on the roadside, the Israeli military said.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the two killed Palestinians as Amir Daraj and Yusuf Anqawi, both 20 years old and Ramallah residents.

Three Israeli soldiers were also injured in the incident outside the village of N'ima, according to the military. Two of them have serious injuries with one in a critical condition. The third was discharged after receiving treatment for light injuries.

The injured Palestinian has been taken into Israeli custody.

IDF: This was terrorism

After an initial investigation, the IDF concluded the incident was "a terror attack." The suspects had thrown firebombs close to an Israeli highway in the West Bank prior to the ramming and soldiers found more firebombs in the car after the incident, it said.

Khaldoun al-Deek, the mayor of N'ima, disputed that account. He the Associated Press that the incident took place at a sharp curve in the road, leading him to "believe it was a road accident, not a ramming attack."

Israeli media reported that IDF forces had entered N'ima to conduct arrests before the incident. As they left, Palestinian residents said they heard shots fired and reported that two youths were killed, according to Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

The head of N'ima's council said the incident could have been accidental after locals reported that the IDF vehicle was located in an unmarked and unlit spot. The Palestinians have not been identified, he added.

Homes razed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he had ordered the military to expedite the demolition of the suspected Palestinian attackers' homes — a general policy aimed at deterring future attacks.

"We are determined to continue our vigorous struggle against the murderers and against terrorism," said Netanyahu, who also praised the Israeli soldiers for having swiftly "eliminated" the suspected Palestinian attackers.

Hamas leader Ismail Hinyeh praised the two killed Palestinians, referring to them as "heroes" when addressing journalists later on Monday.

Car-rammings have decreased in the West Bank since a wave in late 2015 and 2016, mostly carried out by individuals with no known association to military groups.

The incident comes as the US downgraded its Palestinian mission in Jerusalem, a move seen by Palestinians as further stymying any plans for a peace deal.

ta,dv/amp (AFP, AP)

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