Palestinian convicted of murder for 2018 car-ramming that killed 2 IDF soldiers

IDF court finds Ala Qabha guilty of intentionally killing Netanel Kahalani, 20, and Ziv Daos, 21, near the Mevo Dotan settlement more than four years ago

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, left, and Cpt. Ziv Daos, right, the soldiers killed in a car-ramming terror attack on March 16, 2018. (Courtesy)
Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, left, and Cpt. Ziv Daos, right, the soldiers killed in a car-ramming terror attack on March 16, 2018. (Courtesy)

The Israeli military on Sunday convicted a Palestinian man of murder for ramming his car into a group of IDF soldiers in 2018, killing two.

Ala Qabha, was convicted of two counts of “intentionally causing death” — the equivalent of murder under military law — and two counts of attempting to intentionally cause death.

Qabha rammed his car into the group of soldiers on March 16, 2018, outside a military post in the northern West Bank, near the Mevo Dotan settlement, killing Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, and Capt. Ziv Daos and seriously injuring two others. The army later designated the car-ramming as a terror attack.

The following day, the Shin Bet security agency said Qabha had confessed to carrying out the attack. It said Qabha had initially claimed the incident was an accident, but later changed his story and said it was deliberate and that he intended to murder soldiers.

The security agency said at the time it appeared he had acted alone, and possibly spontaneously.

Footage from the scene showed Qabha driving past the soldiers, then making a U-turn and accelerating into them, at a speed of around 70 kilometers per hour, according to the IDF.

Israeli soldiers inspect a car at the scene where two Israeli soldiers were killed and another two were injured in a car-ramming terror attack near Mevo Dotan, in the West Bank, March 16, 2018. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

An initial sentencing hearing is set to take place on September 11, the IDF said.

Kahalani’s and Daos’s families were updated on the developments in the case.

Daos, 21, from the central town of Azor, was a platoon commander in a Home Front Command search and rescue unit. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain.

Ala Qabha, convicted of a deadly March 2018 car-ramming (Courtesy)

Kahalani, 20, from Elyakim in northern Israel, served as a driver in the Menashe Regional Brigade. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Qabha’s apartment in the northern West Bank town of Barta’a was demolished by the military several months after the attack.

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