The extremist rabbi who attacked Jerusalem Pride last month (July 30), killing a 16-year-old girl and injuring six others, has been charged with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors at Jerusalem District Court announced today that Yishai Schlissel will face trial on one count of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder, the Times of Israel reports.
“In a premeditated act, the defendant deliberately killed Shira Banki in cold blood and attempted to kill [six others], without prior provocation and using a knife he had prepared in advance,” the indictment read.
Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, attacked parade-goers on July 30 with a large knife, just thee weeks after being released form prison following a ten-year sentence for a similar attack on the parade in 2005.
One of those attacked, 16-year-old Shira Banki, died as a result of her injuries three days later.
Upon being indicted, an unrepentant Schlissel – who is refusing legal representation – made a brief statement, telling the court that “the pride parade must be canceled to elevate Shira Banki’s soul. If you care for her well-being, you must cease this blasphemy against God. The parades bring harsh decrees upon Israel.”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously sent his condolences to the young victim’s parents and three siblings.
“Shira was murdered for courageously supporting the principle that each and every person has the right to live their life in security and respect,” Netanyahu said.
“We will not allow this loathsome murderer to undermine the basic values upon which the Israeli society is based. We staunchly condemn this attempt to sew the seeds of hatred and violence among us and will act to bring the murderer to justice.”
Schlissel is currently refusing to cooperate with the investigation and refuses to speak to authorities about the attacks.