An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who stabbed people at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last year, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Judges ruled that the accused displayed extreme fanatical behaviour in his actions that injured three people.
The Jerusalem District Court on convicted Yishai Schlissel, a resident of the ultra-Orthodox community of Kiryat Sefer, of attempted murder and severe injury for stabbing and injuring three people at the gay parade.
Schlissel’s victims suffered light to moderate injuries. During his police interrogation, he said: “I came to murder on behalf of God. We can’t have such abomination in the country,”
Upon leaving the courtroom on Tuesday, Schlissel refused to answer reporters’ questions, and only said that “I don’t give interviews to those who bring troubles to Jews.”
The judge said: “He had no tolerance, not even minimal, toward the people who attended the parade because his worldview rejects any compromise. The accused was fully conscious and ready to pay a heavy personal price for his acts.”
Adam Russo, who was moderately wounded in his chest and left hand after being stabbed by Schlissel, was present at the court hearing, he said: “I am very satisfied. There is no doubt that he came in order to murder, and he could have killed me,”
“He didn’t succeed for a number of reasons, but his goal was to kill me. It’s also more than a personal matter – he also hurt the entire community and this is a hate crime that is comparable to anti-Semitism and racism”
Many members of Jerusalem’s homosexual-lesbian community gathered at the courtroom in anticipation of the verdict. Hagai Elad, director of the Jerusalem Open House, which organised the parade, was pleased with the court ruling.
“The conviction does not only do justice and deter those who will try and commit violent acts against the community in the future, but more than that – this is a victory for the rule of law and democracy.”
According to the indictment, Schlissel purchased an 7 inch knife in preparation for the attack. During the parade, he stabbed three people, two 18-year-olds and one 50-year-old man.
One victim sustained moderate wounds to his chest and fingers, while the other two suffered light injuries.
Saar Netanel, member of the Jerusalem City Council, promised that the global gay pride events will be held in Jerusalem in the summer, he said: “This was a hate crime aimed at our entire community, it wasn’t just against homosexuals and lesbians, because everyone who cares about Jerusalem and pluralism also took part in the parade.”
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