Yishai Shlissel (centre – see video below)
The anti-gay religious extremist who stabbed seven people during last year’s Jerusalem Pride parade has been found guilty of murder.
In July 2015, Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, ran amuck through the parade, stabbing Pride participants with a 15 cm-long kitchen knife.
One of his victims, 16-year-old Shira Banki, tragically succumbed to her injuries in hospital and died. She had been attending the event to show support for her LGBT friends.
The Jerusalem Post reported that in addition to being found guilty of murder on Tuesday, Shlissel was also convicted of six counts of attempted murder and one count of causing extreme bodily harm.
Shockingly, Shlissel had been released from prison just three weeks before the parade after he was jailed for doing the same thing ten years earlier and stabbing three people.
The court criticised the police and its failed intelligence for allowing the man to gain access to the parade and not doing enough to protect the participants.
“…the writing was on the wall, but those responsible to stop it did not read it,” the court said.
Shlissel had in the past called the Pride a “foul march” and warned that LGBT people aimed to “despoil the people of Israel”.
Jerusalem Open House, which organises the city’s Pride, welcomed the conviction and called on “our leaders… to step up and ensure our equal rights and protection”.
It added: “Nothing can heal the immense pain we still feel towards the loss of Shira Banki, but through our work and the huge support we receive, we are hopeful that such hate crimes will not reoccur.”
Shlissel has refused to recognise the court or its authority throughput his trial. It is unclear when he will be sentenced for his crimes.