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Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Yom Kippur driver suspected of murder

The Northern District Attorney's Office instructed police on Sunday to investigate Assad Shibli, the man who ran over nine-year-old Tal Zino on Yom Kippur, on suspicion of murder.

Tal Zino was killed while riding her bicycle on Yom Kippur in the northern community of Kfar Tavor, where she was hit by an fast moving all-terrain vehicle and sustained critical injuries. She was rushed to Ha'Emek Hospital in Afula, but doctors were unable to save her life.

Police arrested Assad Shibli, 20, who was driving the vehicle and was lightly injured after the vehicle rolled after the collision.

Shilbli was driving the ATV despite recently losing his license over a traffic violation.

Assad Shibli, from the nearby village Shibli, maintained that he had entered Kfar Tavor to withdraw money from an ATM and had then been frightened off by local residents. He said he had hurried away from the scene and lost control of the vehicle.

Investigators were hesitant to accept his account, since the ATM was at the entrance of Kfar Tavor, while the scene of the accident was in the center of the community where the synagogue is located.

Another Shibli resident involved in the crash turned himself in on Friday after police searched for him for nearly a week.

Residents of Kfar Tavor have accused the young Arab driver of killing the girl on purpose. The collison occured near the local synagogue after Assad Shibli had ignored numerous requests to leave the area.

Eyewitnesses stated that Shibli had been driving at approximately 120kph down a street full of children. Many asked why Shibli and his friend had entered the Jewish town where all the shops and businesses were closed for the holiday if not to harass Jewish worshipers.

Accusations were leveled at the police for refusing to define the incident as a terrorist attack, saying if a Jewish driver had done what Shibli did in an Arab village, he would have be charged with racially based murder.

Cross posted at Israel Bagel
Composed from various news sources
JPost: Yom Kippur driver suspected of murder
Haaretz: Yom Kippur road crash that killed girl to be probed as a murder
Arutz Sheva: Kfar Tavor Residents Accuse Driver of Murder