Jerusalem Car-ramming Suspect Confessed to Hurting Jews as Revenge for His ‘Miserable Life’

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Traffic in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood.Credit: Emil Salman

Details of the investigation of the car-ramming incident at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem in which Shalom Yohai Sherki was killed were released for publication Tuesday. The investigation revealed that Khaled Kutina, 37, a married resident of the West Bank village of Anata, deliberately diverged from his lane and drove toward the bus stop where Sherki, 26, was standing with a 20-year-old woman who was seriously injured.

In his initial questioning Kutina claimed that it was an accident, but he later confessed that he had planned to harm Jews as revenge for his “miserable life.”

According to the Shin Bet security service, Kutina made the decision shortly before carrying out the attack. The details gathered by the Jerusalem Police Central Unit and the Shin Bet indicate that on Wednesday at about 10:30 P.M. the suspect was driving on Highway 1 in the direction of Pisgat Ze’ev. On reaching the junction, near the national police headquarters, he quickly changed direction, drove onto the sidewalk and hit Sherki and the woman. Afterwards he drove in reverse and hit a traffic light. He was arrested when police arrived on the scene.

Kutina works as a cleaner in a mosque in Anata and is known as a very religious man. In the initial investigation he told the police that he felt “pursued by an Egged bus and was therefore forced to get out of his lane.” Later he confessed that he had lied and claimed that he gave his first version so they would think that he suffers from psychological problems. He admitted that he had deliberately plowed into the Jews and said that on that day he had planned to harm Jews as revenge for his “miserable life.”

Kutina said that shortly before the attack he drove his family from Anata to East Jerusalem, and when they were delayed at a checkpoint he felt great anger that led to his decision to carry out the attack. As part of the investigation he was sent for observation, and according to a psychiatric opinion is fit to stand trial.

The investigation also revealed that Kutina used to send text messages of a religious nature to his friends, praising the Prophet Mohammed.

Jerusalem Police District Commander Moshe (Chico) Edri praised the investigators from the Central Unit whose “professional and determined investigation led to the solution of the regrettable attack within a short time.”

Kutina’s remand was extended until Friday.

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