French Hill neighborhood.
(photo credit: ANGLO-SAXON JERUSALEM)
Ten days after being critically wounded in a vehicular terrorist attack that killed Yohai Cherki at a French Hill bus stop, Shira Klein has regained consciousness and is in stable condition, a hospital official said on Sunday.
According to Hadar Elboim, spokeswoman for Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Klein, 20, was taken off a ventilator three days ago and is now breathing independently and speaking, although she remains frail.
“She is awake and talking with her family, and is very stable,” said Elboim. “She is still very, very weak, but I believe that in a day or two she will be transferred from Intensive Care to the Orthopedics Unit.”
Klein sustained serious head trauma and a broken hand during the April 16 attack that killed Cherki, 25.
“Her main injury was to her head, and she just needed time to be asleep and on the ventilator,” said Elboim, noting that Klein also underwent surgery on her hand.
Khaled Koutineh, 37, of Anata, was arrested following the attack.
The incident took place shortly before midnight, when Koutineh, who is married and had no prior criminal record, sped his car into Cherki and Klein while they waited for a bus on Haim Bar-Lev Boulevard.
Although Koutineh initially denied that he intentionally drove his vehicle into them, he subsequently confessed to the crime, telling Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigators that he carried out the attack after becoming incensed after being detained at a checkpoint near his home.
Cherki, the son of prominent religious-Zionist Rabbi Uri Cherki, died from severe head trauma several hours after being struck. He was buried at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery, in the capital’s Givat Shaul neighborhood, the day following the attack.