Victim of Jerusalem Pride attack dies of injuries
A hospital spokeswoman has confirmed that the teenage girl stabbed by an anti-gay extremist in last week’s attack has died.
Speaking on behalf of Hadassah hospital, Hadar Elboim said 16-year-old Shira Banki had succumbed to the wounds she sustained in the attack three days ago, the Associated Press report.
Shira was among six people wounded on Thursday by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, who went on a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s Pride parade.
Yishai Schlissel was released three weeks ago after serving 10 years in prison for a previous attack at the same parade in 2005.
According to the newspaper Maariv, Schlissel wrote a letter ahead of the attack saying: “It is the obligation of every Jew to keep his soul from punishment and stop this giant desecration of God’s name next Thursday.”
“Once again, the evildoers want to have a parade of sin and of all places, in Jerusalem — city of the king of kings blessed be he — in order to defile its holiness and desecrate its holy name on Thursday. They are always looking for ways to desecrate God’s name even more.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has released a statement paying tribute to Shira and promising that Schlissel will be subject the “full extent” Israeli law.
“Shira was murdered because she courageously supported the idea that everybody is entitled to live their lives in dignity and safety.
“We will not allow the abhorrent murderer to undermine the fundamental values upon which Israeli society is based,” he added.
“We will deal with the murderer to the fullest extent of the law.”
Under heavy police protection, the Jerusalem Open House – which also runs the city’s LGBT community centre – held a mass peace rally in Jerusalem city centre on Saturday night (August 1).
Under the slogan “Love Alway Wins” the rally is being held to promote tolerance and acceptance in the wake of the attack.
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Sarah Kala, Executive Director of Jerusalem Open House, said: “We are here in Jerusalem, and we will stay in Jerusalem”
“Against violence – we will protest, against incitement – we will educate, against hatred – we will love.”
Leading ultra-orthodox leaders have since spoken out to condemn the attacks, with Israel’s Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef asking the Jewish people to stand together in “kindness and tolerance.”
“The Torah of the Jewish people forbids all violence and [efforts to] injure any person, and especially someone who tries to kill another person,” said Lau.
“It’s unthinkable that a man can lift up his hand against another Jewish soul in the name of religion,” said Yosef.
“I am praying from the bottom of my heart for the full recovery of those who were injured, and in the face of this type of hatred I call on the entire Jewish people to return to unity in kindness and tolerance.”