Sergeant Netanel Kahalani (L) and Lieutenant Ziv Daus, the 2 IDF soldiers that were killed in Friday’s terrorist attack [Photo Source: IDF]

On Friday, Alaa Kabha, an Arab terrorist from the town of Barta’a, rammed his car into an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vehicle killing 2 soldiers, Sergeant Netanel Kahalani, 20, of Elyakim and Lieutenant Ziv Daus, 21, of Azur. The names of the 2 soldiers were released for publication yesterday.

After an initial investigation into the incident, officials determined that the terrorist first spotted the IDF troops who were standing near a pillbox post located between the Arab village of Ya’bad, in Samaria and nearby olive plantations. The two slain soldiers were standing at the front of their jeep, while the other two stood on the vehicle’s other side, near the road, according to Ynet News. Upon spotting the soldiers, the terrorist veered from the road, sped up, and hit Daus and Kahalani first. The two were killed instantly. The attack also wounded two soldiers—one very seriously and one moderately.

After the terrorist first said claimed that the car-ramming attack was an accident, he later changed his story admitting that his attack was nationally motivated and that he intended to murder soldiers. Alaa Kabha, was a security prisoner released from Israeli prison in April of last year, after completing a 17-month sentence, the Shin Bet revealed in their report.

Sergeant Netanel Kahalani’s mother told Ynet News, “Netanel was like a present. I thank God for giving that boy to me. He had a heart of gold. He was loved everywhere. I loved him so much and he’ll be in my heart forever.” (The name Netanel comes from the words Natan – to give and E-l, which is one of the names of G-d.)

In recalling the refined character of his nephew, Ziv’s uncle told the following anecdote to Ynet News: “Six months ago, Ziv asked his mother to buy another soldier a watch with his own money. He said the soldier keeps receiving punishments because he didn’t own a watch and was always late. That shows his values.”

The funeral of Sergeant Nathaniel Kahalani took place early this morning in the Elyakim cemetery and the funeral of Lieutenant Ziv Daus will take place this afternoon at 12:00 pm at the military cemetery in Holon.

Friday’s terrorist attack comes less than a month after an Arab resident of East Jerusalem rammed his car into an IDF convoy that was traveling in southern Israel, killing Staff Sgt. Bar Yakubian, 19, from Netiv HaShayara, Staff Sgt. Eshto Tespo, 21, from Petah Tikva, both combat soldiers from the Golani Brigade and wounding others in what some presumed to be a nationalist-motivated attack.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the slain soldiers and we wish a speedy recovery to the other injured soldiers. May the memories of Sergeant Netanel Kahalani Lieutenant Ziv Daus be for a blessing.