"A Despicable Hate Crime": Six Stabbed at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade
Police say six people were injured, one of them critically, when an ultra-Orthodox assailant began stabbing attendees of Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade on Thursday, Haaretz reports.
Authorities identified the attacker as Yishai Schlissel, who was released from prison this month after serving 10 years for stabbing three people at the parade in 2005. From NBC News:
About 5,000 people celebrating the event were marching along an avenue when a man jumped into the crowd, apparently from a supermarket, and plunged a knife into some of the participants, witnesses said.
“We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground,” Shai Aviyor, a witness interviewed on Israel’s Channel 2, said.
Left, right, secular and religious leaders in Israel immediately condemned the attack, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “a despicable hate crime.”
“We will mete out justice to those responsible for the act,” said Netanyahu in a statement. “In the state of Israel freedom of choice of the individual is one of the basic values.”
Police were able to subdue and arrest the suspect shortly after the attack began, but authorities are already facing criticism for failing to monitor Schlissel. From The Times of Israel:
Jerusalem Police chief Chico Edry said the police had “no advance information” on plans to attack the march. As Edry was speaking to reporters, a protester broke into a TV broadcast to denounce him for failing to prevent the attack. “Shame on the police,” the protester said.
“The writing was on the wall,” Channel 2’s reporter Moshe Nussbaum said. “Everybody knew, except the police… about Shissel’s intentions.”
[Image via AP Images]