Main | Thursday, July 30, 2015

ISRAEL: Six Stabbed At Jerusalem Pride, Cops Arrest Ultra-Orthodox Man

The Jerusalem Post reports:
An assailant stabbed six people marching in the annual Jerusalem gay pride parade on Thursday. The assailant, an ultra-Orthodox man, was arrested. According to MDA, six people were wounded in the incident that took place on the corners of Sokolov and Keren Hayesod streets in the capital. Paramedics were treating two people in serious condition, one in moderate condition and three people who were lightly injured. All of the victims were in their thirties, according to MDA. The wounded were being evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem neighborhood. Thousands of people were taking part in the annual pride parade in the capital when the attack occurred. "I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in his way," said Shai Aviyor, a witness interviewed on Israel's Channel 2 television. "We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground," Aviyor said.
The ultra-Orthodox group Lehava yesterday announced that it would not allow today's parade to "pass quietly." Today's incident mirrors an attack at Jerusalem Pride 2005 in which three attendees were stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox protester. I'll have video reports of today's attack as soon as they become available. Below are apparent photos of the attacker being subdued by police.
UPDATE: The attack was caught in this photo.
UPDATE II: Here is the attacker chasing two girls with his knife as the police come after him.
UPDATE III: The Jerusalem Post has updated their above-linked story to report that the attacker is the same man arrested in the in the 2005 attack: "The suspect in Thursday's stabbing attack, Yishai Shlissel, is the same man who perpetrated a similar stabbing attack at the 2005 Jerusalem gay pride parade. He was recently released from prison after having been convicted of stabbing three people during the parade ten years ago."

UPDATE IV: Here's the attacker about to pull his knife.

UPDATE V: Videos are coming in.

UPDATE VI: Netanyahu has denounced the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack contradicted the country's "basic values". "In the state of Israel the individual's freedom of choice is one of basic values. We must ensure that in Israel, every man and woman lives in security in any way they choose. That's how we acted in the past and how we'll continue to act. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery," he said in a statement. President Reuven Rivlin condemned the stabbing as a "terrible hate crime". "People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed," he said. "We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them." Hundreds of police are deployed along the parade route to prevent violence breaking out. Jerusalem police spokesman Asi Ahroni told Reuters there was a "massive presence" of police at the parade but "unfortunately the man managed to pull out a knife and attack".

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