Main | Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tel Aviv: Massive Manhunt For Killer

A massive manhunt is underway in Tel Aviv for the masked man who opened fire at the city's LGBT center yesterday, killing three youths and wounding eleven more.
Hundreds of police officers scoured the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday in a manhunt for a gunman who shot and killed three people at a youth club in the worst ever attack on homosexuals in Israel. The Tel Aviv shooting shocked the Mediterranean city, which prides itself on its live-and-let-live attitude and boasts a thriving gay community. The brazen attack drew condemnations from the city's mayor, from Cabinet ministers, the country's chief rabbis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We'll bring him to justice and exercise the full extent of the law against him," Netanyahu said of the killer, speaking at the Israeli Cabinet's weekly meeting. A masked man entered the center for gay teens in downtown Tel Aviv late Saturday night, pulled out a pistol and opened fire, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The shooter then concealed his weapon and fled the scene on foot into the busy streets outside the center, Rosenfeld said.
Police have set up roadblocks across the city, but say they have no clues to the man's identity. No group has claimed responsibility for the murders. Some are blaming Israel's Shas Party for inciting the attack:
"I warned in a column last year that Israel is a place which on the one hand has liberal laws, but on the other does not attempt to counter homophobia," Danny Zak, a journalist and gay rights advocate, told the Jerusalem Post during the demonstration. "A murder was waiting to happen," Zak added. "The Shas party has the blood of two innocent kids on their hands," he said. "Shas has blamed gays for earthquakes and diseases. This is incitement, but no one is put on trial for it," he said. Shas released a statement following the shooting in which it called for the attacker "to be found and tried. Murder is of course against the Torah's path and every attack is a contravention of the religion of Israel." Meretz MK Nitzan Horovitz, who is gay, arrived at the scene of the shooting. "There has been non-stop incitement," he told the Post. "I very much hope this is not the result of comments made by public figures and Knesset members. They need to understand that some people will take action." Last year, former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri said that homosexual behavior was the cause of earthquakes.
Many of the gay youth at the center last night were not out to their families. Some parents only learned their children are gay when they were called to the hospitals.

Labels: , , , , ,

comments powered by Disqus