Police arrest man targeting marchers at Jerusalem pride parade

Yishai Schlissel went on a stabbing rampage at the 2015 Jerusalem Pride Parade, killing 16-year old Banki, and injuring six other people marching at the event.

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July 20, 2016 18:21
2 minute read.
Yishai Schlissel

Yishai Schlissel arrested after stabbing six people at the Jerusalem gay pride parade. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Jerusalem police have confirmed that a resident of the capital, suspected on the basis of intelligence information of seeking to harm participants in Thursday’s Jerusalem LGBT Pride Parade, was arrested on Wednesday morning.

Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Yoram Halevi said the force had taken several actions to prevent efforts “to disrupt” the parade.

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“In the general preparations for the gay pride parade, I instructed units of the Jerusalem district to carry out a series of operations including [issuing] restraining orders and warnings, and preventing Jerusalem police have confirmed that a resident of the capital, suspected on the basis of intelligence information of seeking to harm participants in Thursday’s Jerusalem LGBT Pride Parade, was arrested on Wednesday morning.

Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Yoram Halevi said the force had taken several actions to prevent efforts “to disrupt” the parade.

“In the general preparations for the gay pride parade, I instructed units of the Jerusalem district to carry out a series of operations including [issuing] restraining orders and warnings, and preventing preparations to harm participants in the parade,” said Halevi.

Police also arrested on Wednesday Michael Schlissel, a brother of Yishai Schlissel, who murdered 16-year-old Shira Banki at last year’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, as well as three other siblings and their mother on suspicion of “seeking to interfere” with this year’s event.

The members of the Schlissel family were represented by attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, a prominent far-right figure who is associated with the radical anti-LGBT and anti-assimilation Lehava organization.



Yishai Schlissel went on a stabbing rampage at the 2015 parade, killing Banki and wounding six other marchers.

He had been released from prison just weeks earlier after serving a 10-year sentence for stabbing three people at the 2005 gay pride parade.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered that Michael Schlissel be kept in custody until 1 p.m. on Thursday, despite a police request to extend his custody for five days. The parade is to begin at 5 p.m.

Schlissel’s mother and other siblings were released from prison on Wednesday afternoon, although all of them have been issued with restraining orders barring them from Jerusalem.

Following Banki’s murder, Schlissel’s mother, Rivka, described the killing as “a terrible tragedy” and said the family was very sorry for what had happened and was praying for the recovery of the other victims.

City council member Nachmiel Saban criticized the police for what he described as its heavy-handed approach to the parade.

“The police must do its job as well as possible, but this hysteria in which they are arresting the parents of children without any basis requires that the whole process be reexamined,” said Saban. “It’s clear that those who are paying the price for last year’s failure are the family members.”

Saban told The Jerusalem Post, “This is a democratic state and as long as nothing illegal is being done then I won’t intervene and tell people what they should or should not do.”

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