Khaleed Kutina arrives in court April 16, 2016.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A traffic incident that killed one Israeli and wounded another last week was a terrorist attack, Israel Police Insp.-Gen.
Yochanan Danino said on Saturday.
Police on Wednesday night arrested Khaled Koutineh, 37, from Anata, for running over Shalom Yohai Cherki, 25, and seriously injuring a young woman at a bus stop in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem. In the initial days after the incident, police said they had not yet determined whether Koutineh hit the bus stop by accident or if it was an intentional nationalistic attack, saying the incident required further investigation.
“It is possible and there is a very strong basis to now say that this was a terror attack,” Danino said on Saturday, calling it one of several “devastating” terrorist attacks to strike the capital over the past few months.
Danino also spoke of the recent difficulties police have faced in keeping the peace in the city, highlighting his decision to call up 1,000 extra police to patrol the district during tension late last year. He added that police are working to preserve the status quo on the Temple Mount and prevent extremists from inflaming the situation there.
The Temple Mount was a major source of violence late last year, with police and Palestinians alike saying that visits by Israeli politicians and civilians were exacerbating the situation and inciting violence.
“Some of the elected officials listen to us and others are convinced otherwise and make the decision to ascend [the Temple Mount],” Danino said, adding that he believes police policies have restored quiet to the site.
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Danino also addressed the so-called “Yisrael Beytenu corruption case,” saying police recruited six state witnesses who are testifying in the corruption investigation against former officials and parliamentarians from the party and their associates.
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