Palestinian charged with Jerusalem car killing

Palestinan charged with deliberately driving into a Jewish couple.

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The Jerusalem District Attorney on Monday charged a Palestinian with deliberately running down two Israeli pedestrians last month, killing a man and seriously injuring a woman, the justice ministry said.

It said in a statement that 37-year-old Khaled Kutina, a resident of the West Bank village of Anata just outside Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, was charged with murdering 26-year-old Shalom Yohai Cherki and the attempted murder of 20-year-old Shira Klein.

He is accused of driving into the couple "with great force" as they stood at an east Jerusalem bus stop on April 15.

National police chief Yohanan Danino at the time called it a "horrible attack".

According to the charge sheet, seen by AFP, Kutina had become enraged at delays caused by Israeli checkpoints as he drove his parents from Anata to the family home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

After dropping them off, it said, "the accused began to think of carrying out a murderous, nationalistic revenge attack against Jews".

"He decided to run down Jews to death with his vehicle," it said.

Tensions have been running high in Jerusalem since a 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza last July and August, and the use of vehicles in attacks has become almost routine.

On Saturday, a man from east Jerusalem's Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp allegedly deliberately rammed his car into three Israeli police officers on the Mount of Olives.

None was seriously hurt and the suspect was arrested the following day.

In March, five Israelis were injured when a Palestinian drove into a group of pedestrians before getting out of the car to try to stab people.

An Israeli border guard was killed and several people were injured in November when a Palestinian drove his vehicle into people waiting at a stop on the city's light railway system.

And in a similar attack, two people including a three-month old Israeli-American baby were killed in October.

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