The man who killed a teenage girl and injured five more during a brutal attack at Jerusalem Pride last year has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Yishai Schlissel to life in prison, plus an additional 31 years, on Sunday (June 26). He must also pay compensation to the victim’s families.
40-year-old Schlissel is an ultra-Orthodox Jew who claimed to be doing God’s will when stabbed six people in the attack at Jerusalem Pride last August – including 16-year-old Shira Banki, who later died in hospital.
The incident took place just three weeks after Schlissel’s release from prison where he had served a 10 year sentence for a similar attack at the pride parade in Jerusalem in 2005.
The court criticised the police during the case, saying they had known Schissel posed further danger to the public but failed to act properly.
“The verdict given today is yet another milestone in our fight against hatred, violence and darkness towards LGTBQ community” said Sarah Kala-Meit, the director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. “Unfortunately, Schlissel’s term of imprisonment cannot heal our open bleeding wounds, nor bring back to life Shira Banki.
“Having said that, we derive comfort from the court’s acknowledgment in the need to condemn people like Schlissel from our society, a major step towards a better world.”
She finished: “Stand with us as we support Shira’s family and loved ones in attendance at the march. The LGBTQ community of Jerusalem will honor Shira Banki, the victims of Orlando, and victims of violence and homophobia around the globe.”
This year’s Jerusalem Pride parade is scheduled to take place on July 21.