Teen Jerusalem Pride Marcher Dies From Stabbing

Shira Banki MOURNX633 0
Above: People gather around candles during a gathering of hundreds of friends, classmates, teachers, members of the LGBT community, and supporters in downtown Jerusalem on August 2, 2015 to mourn the death of Israeli Shira Banki.

Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people stabbed Thursday during a Pride parade, reports CNN. The assailant, Yishai Schlissel, had critially wounded two of his victims in the attack.

Banki died of her injuries Sunday at Hadar Elboim of Hadassah hospital. Her organs will be donated.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, released a statement assuring Banki's family that her killer would be brought to justice.

"Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that each one can live their life in honor and security," he said. "We will not allow this despicable killer to undermine the core values that Israeli society is based upon."

"We contemptuously denounce his actions of hate and violence. We will do everything in our power to bring this killer to face justice," he concluded.

[RELATED: "Six Stabbed at Jerusalem Pride March (Photos)"]

Previously, Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, had stabbed three people at a Jerusalem Pride march in 2005. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year-sentence for attempted murder and aggravated assault related to that attack. 

Upon being released, Schlissel had returned to his hometown, where he began distributing "hand-written pamphlets in which he called on 'all Jews faithful to God' to risk 'beatings and imprisonment' for the sake of preventing the parade."

As an estimated 5,000 people gathered to mark the annual Pride celebration with a parade through the streets of Jerusalem, Schlissel approached marchers on Keren Hayesod Street and began screaming, then pulled a knife from his coat and began stabbing his victims. Haaretz notes that a police officer was able to tackle the suspect and arrest him.

In response to the stabbings, Israeli lawmaker Itzik Shmuli came out as gay in an op-ed published Friday in a Hebrew-language daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

“We cannot be silent any longer,” Shmuli wrote. “We cannot be silent any longer because the knife is raised on the entire LGBT community — my community — and it won’t stop there.”

"This is the time to fight the great darkness," he concluded.

Tags: Crime, World
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