Girl stabbed at Israeli Gay Pride march dies

Teenager had been in critical condition since attack by suspected Ultra-Orthodox Jew at Thursday’s event in Jerusalem.

A participant of an annual gay pride parade is treated after an Orthodox Jewish assailant stabbed and injured six participants in Jerusalem on Thursday, police and witnesses said
The attacker stabbed five other people who suffered various degrees of injuries in Thursday's assault [Reuters]

A teenage girl stabbed along with five other people at a Jerusalem Gay Pride parade by a suspect identified as an Ultra-Orthodox Jew has died, according to a hospital statement.

Hadar Elboim of the city’s Hadassah Medical Centre said the 16-year-old succumbed to her wounds on Sunday and that her organs would be donated.

Shira Banki had been in critical condition since being stabbed in the back during Thursday’s march. The five other victims suffered various degrees of injuries.

The suspect, Yishai Shlissel, was arrested at the scene. He carried out the attack just weeks after being released from a 10-year prison sentence for stabbing participants of the 2005 Gay Pride march in Jerusalem, wounding three people. Police have come under criticism for not keeping him under surveillance.

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Authorities said on Sunday they had formed a committee to examine the “background and circumstances” that allowed the latest attack to take place.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, sent his condolences to the family in a statement on Sunday.

“We won’t permit the terrible murderer to challenge the basic values on which Israeli society is built,” he said. We reject with disgust any attempt to impose hatred and violence among us and will bring the murderer to justice.

“Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that everyone has the right to live their lives respectfully and with security.”

The annual parade in Jerusalem, which drew about 5,000 this year, has long been a focus of tension between Israel’s predominant secular majority and the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority, who object to public displays of homosexuality.

The same event every year in Tel Aviv generally passes peacefully as secular Jews hold greater sway in what is the country’s entertainment and business hub.

Gays serve openly in Israel’s military and parliament, and many popular artists and entertainers are gay, but they still face hostility among religious Jews.

Source: News Agencies