Date
21 January 2017
Teenagers comfort each other during a candlelight vigil in Jerusalem for Israeli student Shira Banki. Photo: Reuters
Teenagers comfort each other during a candlelight vigil in Jerusalem for Israeli student Shira Banki. Photo: Reuters

Israeli teen dies after gay parade stabbing

An Israeli teenager has died from her wounds after a knife-wielding ultra-Orthodox man attacked a gay pride parade in Jerusalem three days ago.

High school student Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people wounded in the assault, Reuters reports, citing police officials.

The suspect was arrested at the scene but police were criticized for not keeping him under surveillance.

He had been released from prison only weeks earlier after being jailed for stabbing three at the same event in 2005.

“We won’t permit the terrible murderer to challenge the basic values on which Israeli society is built.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after sending his condolences to the family.

The death highlighted the Jerusalem’s sharp social divisions between Orthodox and secular Jews.

The annual parade in Jerusalem, which drew about 5,000 this year, has been a focus of tensions 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.

The stabbings shocked Israel and drew condemnations from across the political spectrum. Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, warned “we must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster.”

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter