By Anav Silverman and Matti Bernhardt
Thousands paid their respects to Shalom Yochai Sherki, 25, who succumbed on Thursday morning to grave injuries he received when a car that slammed into a bus stop that he was standing by on Wednesday night, April 15 on French Hill.
Police in Jerusalem have indicated that there is a strong case that the motive for the driver who struck Sherki and a 20-year-old woman may have been nationalistic. Israel’s Chief of Police Yohanan Danino said on the Thursday, April 16, that first suspicions indicate that the car slamming was a terror attack, “especially in light of the fact that the incident took place on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
The driver of the car is a 37-year-old Arab man from the Anata village near Jerusalem. He was also injured and following medical treatment will be questioned by the Shin Bet. At the funeral, Shalom’s father, Rabbi Uri Sherki, said that his son saved the woman standing next to him. “Go dear son, it is not difficult because your noble soul is ascending straight to the King of Peace.”
Sherki is the brother of Israeli Channel 2 News reporter, Yair Sherki, and the son of a prominent Orthodox Rabbi Uri Sherki. Shalom Sherki worked as a tour guide in ‘Masa Israel’, a program that strengthens Jewish, Zionist and Israeli identity among Israeli teenagers and soldiers. He was also a counselor at the Bnei-Zvi Yeshiva in Beit-El.
Representatives of the Bnei-Zvi Yeshiva told Tazpit News Agency that “Sherki was a wonderful man, full of life, with a constant smile on his face. He always wanted to help. He taught his students the importance of giving and loving God. We have yet to grasp the death of this special man”.
After standing during the siren in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, the head of the Bnei-Zvi Yeshiva said that “Sherki has joined the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust only because they were Jewish”.
The Beit-El Regional Council also spoke with Tazpit News Agency, saying: “Beit-El is in mourning together with the Sherki family over the murder of Shalom Sherki in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem yesterday. We send our condolences to his father, Rabbi Uri Sherki and brother Yair, and to the entire family”.
Shalom Sherki’s funeral took place today at 17:00 in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul Har Hamenuchot Cemetery.
The mother, Ada, of the 20-year-old girl who was hit in the car ramming last night has asked the public to pray for her daughter, Shira, who is in serious but stable condition at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital. She also said that her family offers their condolences to the Sherki family.
If the police conclude that this was indeed a terrorist attack, it will be the eighth such car-ramming incident within the past seven months where Palestinians have run over both soldiers and civilians.
On October 22, 2014 a terrorist ran over 8 people in a Light Rail station in the Giv’at Hatachmoshet neighborhood of Jerusalem, injuring six and killing two. Two weeks later, 14 people were injured in a similar attack, including 3 soldiers of the Border Patrol, in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood in Jerusalem. In November, an Arab tried to run over two children in the Neve Zuf community in the Benjamin area. On December 3, an Arab stole a car from a Jewish citizen near the Migdalim junction in Samaria, running him over and killing him. A week later, a terrorist tried to run over civilians in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In 2015, a terrorist tried to run over soldiers in the Al-Hader junction in Gush Etzion on January 8. On March 6, 7 people were injured, including 4 soldiers from the Border Patrol, when an Arab from east Jerusalem ran them over at a Light Rail station in northern Jerusalem.