Thousands Attend Funeral of Israeli Killed on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Thousands paid their respects on Thursday to Shalom Yochai Sherki, who succumbed to grave injuries after a car slammed into a bus stop he was standing by on Wednesday night in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood.
Sherki’s funeral took place at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul Har Hamenuchot Cemetery.
It is likely that the motive for the driver who struck Sherki, 25, and a nearby 20-year-old woman may have been nationalistic, police in Jerusalem indicated. Israel’s Chief of Police Yohanan Danino said Thursday that first suspicions indicate the car ramming 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 was a 37-year-old Arab man from the Anata village near Jerusalem. He was also injured in the incident, and, following medical treatment, will be questioned by the Shin Bet.
Sherki is the brother of Israeli Channel 2 News reporter Yair Sherki and the son of prominent Orthodox Rabbi Uri Sherki. At the funeral, Rabbi Sherki said 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,” he said.
Shalom Sherki worked as a tour guide for Masa Israel, a program that works to strengthen 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 silent during the siren in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, an annual nationwide tradition in Israel, the head of the Bnei-Zvi Yeshiva said, “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.”
Ada, the mother of 20-year-old Shira, the other victim who was hit in the car ramming, has asked the public to pray for her daughter. Shira is in serious but stable condition at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital. Ada also said her family offers their condolences to the Sherki family.
If police conclude that the car ramming 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 Oct. 22, 2014, a terrorist ran over eight people at a light rail station in the Giv’at Hatachmoshet neighborhood of Jerusalem, injuring six and killing two. Fourteen people were injured in a similar attack two weeks later, including three soldiers of the Border Patrol, in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood in Jerusalem. An Arab tried to run over two children in the Neve Zuf community in the Benjamin area in November and on Dec. 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.
On Jan. 8. 2015, a terrorist tried to run over soldiers at the Al-Hader junction in Gush Etzion. Seven people were then injured, including four Border Patrol officers, on March 6 when an Arab from East Jerusalem ran them over at a light rail station in northern Jerusalem.