In a surprise
decision--seen as a major victory for gays in
Israel--the district court in Jerusalem
sentenced Yishay Schlissel to 12 years in prison for
stabbing and wounding three marchers in a local gay
pride parade last summer. The court also ordered, on
Wednesday, that Schlissel pay $60,000 to compensate
the three victims he attacked with a kitchen knife.
The 30-year-old Schlissel is an ultra-Orthodox
Jew from the Kiryat Sefer settlement who said he
committed the crime "as a representative of God."
Schlissel was convicted last week of attempted murder but
refused to express any regret.
As the sentence was read, Schlissel refused to
stand, although his mother and family begged him to
respect the court. The prosecution has said that it is
considering charging him with contempt of court. Supporters
and family of the victims also attended the hearing:
Yafit, the mother of Ligal Tarazi, who was wounded
slightly in the attack, told journalists on
Wednesday that she is planning also on filing a civil law
suit against Schlissel. Yet she said, "I am pleasantly
surprised by the judge's decision; we did not expect
Noah Satat, chairman of Jerusalem's gay
rights group Open House, said, "We are pleased with
the verdict that was in favor of the freedom of
expression and in favor of the equality of the gay and
lesbian community. The court's decision strengthens us
ahead of the gay pride march that will take place on
August this year in Jerusalem." (Sami Sockol, Sirius
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