Jerusalem gay pride parade attacker is sentenced to life in prison

This Sunday, a court in Jerusalem sentenced a radical ultra-orthodox Israeli Jew to life in prison for fatally stabbing a teenage girl at a gay pride parade last year.

The Jerusalem District Court convicted Yishai Schlissel for the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki and the attempted murder of seven others. At the time of the incident, Schlissel had just been freed from prison after serving a sentence for stabbing several people at another pride parade in 2005. After his release, Schlissel condemned the parade but was not prevented from attending.

“We have before us a man who doesn’t see a fellow human before his eyes. A cruel, dangerous and heartless man,” the court wrote in its ruling. “This dangerous man cannot be allowed to walk any longer on the streets of Jerusalem, or anywhere else.”

As the 2015 parade got underway, Schlissel forced himself into the crowd of marchers, stabbing eight people with a long-bladed knife before he was apprehended by police.

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Shira Banki (Flickr)

From NBC News:

Jerusalem, known for its rich religious history and tradition, holds a modest gay pride parade annually in contrast to the large parade in the nearby liberal city of Tel Aviv, which this year drew more than 200,000 people and held a minute of silence to honor Banki.

According to NBC News, anti-gay sentiments are common in Jerusalem where a majority of the city’s residents are observant Jews, Muslims or Christians, but actual violent acts carried out against the LGBT community are rare.

Featured image: Boaz Guttman (Flickr)

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