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Crime

Jerusalem Pride attacker charged with murder

Joe Williams August 24, 2015

A man accused of going on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem Pride spewed homophobia as he was charged with murder today.

An Israeli court has charged an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man with murder, after 16-year-old Shira Banki was killed and five others were wounded, in a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s Pride parade.

Yishai Schlissel was arrested at the scene – and it later emerged he had been released from prison just three weeks before the attack, after serving a sentence for attacking the same parade in 2005.

Legal proceedings have been complicated as Schlissel continues to refuse counsel, and says he does not accept the legitimacy of the court.

After hearing the court’s decision, Schlissel once again verbally attacked the parade – having the audacity to reference Miss Banki during the outburst, before blaming the LGBT community for her death.

“The pride parade must be stopped in order for the soul of Shira Banki to ascend to heaven,” Shlissel, 39, told the court in Jerusalem.

“If you care for her well being … you must stop cursing against God. The parade marchers are bringing great harm upon the nation of Israel.”

As well as murder, Shlissel was also charged with aggravated assault and six counts of attempted murder over the attack on the march last month, the justice ministry said.

Legal proceedings have been complicated as Schlissel continues to refuse counsel, and says he does not accept the legitimacy of the court.

He has repeatedly refused to comply with the court system, claiming: “You have no authority to judge me according to the laws of the Torah, so I’m not interested in representation.”

A leaflet that Schlissel circulated prior to his attack on the Pride parade may explain his violent motivations: “It is the obligation of every Jew to keep his soul from punishment and stop this giant desecration of God’s name next Thursday. There is an obligation to stop the parade of sin at all costs.”

More: Israel, Israel, Jerusalem, Jerusalem Pride March, Middle East, Shira Banki, Yishai Schlissel

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