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Police chief: Terror attack suspected in car-ramming

Khaled Koutineh, 37, interrogated over Jerusalem attack that killed Shalom Sherki and critically injured a woman

Shalom Sherki, 25, who was killed in an April 2015 car-ramming attack in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood (screen capture)
Shalom Sherki, 25, who was killed in an April 2015 car-ramming attack in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood (screen capture)

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on Thursday said the car-ramming attack in Jerusalem late Wednesday night, in which 25-year-old Shalom Sherki was killed and a woman was seriously injured, was likely deliberate and nationalistically motivated.

Police have named Khaled Koutineh, 37, of the West Bank town of Anata northeast of Jerusalem, as the suspect in last night’s vehicular attack in the French Hill neighborhood, the Hebrew-language news site Ynet reports.

Police and the Shin Bet security service interrogated Koutineh but were initially reluctant to say whether he lost control of his vehicle or ran down the two pedestrians deliberately.

This morning police brought Koutineh to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court with a request to extend his remand. Before the hearing police officials said they now had more reason to suspect Koutina ran over the two as a deliberate attack.

Police investigate a car that struck a bus stop on Apr. 15, 2015 in Jerusalem's French Hill, which killed one and seriously injured another.  (Photo credit: Fire and Rescue Services)
Police investigate a car that struck a bus stop on Apr. 15, 2015 in Jerusalem’s French Hill, which killed one and seriously injured another. (Photo credit: Fire and Rescue Services)

Sherki, 25, who was killed in the attack, was the son of Rabbi Uri Sherki, a community rabbi in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, and the brother of Yair Sherki, a reporter for Channel 2 news. He was being laid to rest Thursday evening at the Sephardi funeral home in Givat Shaul, in Jerusalem.

The capital has seen a spate of car-ramming attacks over the past year, in which Palestinian “lone-wolf” assailants have used their vehicles as a weapon to mow down Israeli civilians. Such attacks are usually spontaneous and are not thought to be orchestrated by terrorist organizations.

Rabbi Shlomo Amar speaks during the funeral of Shalom Sherki in Jerusalem on April 16, 2015. (photo credit: Flash 90)
Rabbi Shlomo Amar speaks during the funeral of Shalom Sherki in Jerusalem on April 16, 2015. (photo credit: Flash 90)

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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