An Israeli teenager has died of stab wounds sustained when an ultra-Orthodox man with a knife 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. Hadar Elboim of Hadassah hospital said the succumbed to her wounds Sunday and that her organs will be donated.
The suspect, Yishai Shlissel, was arrested at the scene. Police have come under fire for not keeping him under surveillance as he had been released from prison only weeks earlier having been jailed for stabbing three at the same event in 2005.15
High school student Shira Banki, 16, has died after succumbing to stab wounds she sustained in an attack on a Gay Pride march in Jerusalem on Thursday
Shira went on the march on Thursday in support of her LGBT friends, reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Her parents and three siblings survive her.
In a statement her family said: ‘Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose.
‘For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl.
‘The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.’ The family requests the public respect their privacy as they grieve.’
‘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.
‘We reject with disgust any attempt to impose hatred and violence among us and will bring the murderer to justice,’ it said.
‘Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that everyone has the right to live their lives respectfully and with security.’
Candlelight vigils are being held tonight in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in memory of Shira.
A video on YouTube apparently shows a 10-year-old Shira playing a piano concerto at a concert in Jerusalem in 2009, under which some messages of sympathy have been posted (see below).
Of the remaining five people wounded in the attack two are still in hospital in a serious condition, though they are said to be improving. Three others whose injuries were not so serious have been released from hospital.