Police ask for remand extension of LGBT activist

Police say suspect knows details of the gay youth center shooting, but is not suspected of planning or execution.

June 9, 2013 06:17
2 minute read.
Memorial candles lit after 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar LGBT youth center.

candles commemorates LGBT center shooting 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A well-known member of the LGBT community will be brought for a remand extension at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Sunday, for a crime police believe is linked to the motive for the 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar gay youth center that left two dead and 11 wounded.

The man, a prominent activist in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community for many years, is not suspected of being involved in the attack itself, but police believe he is key in building the case against the three suspects arrested on Wednesday night for its planning and execution.

Police are also interested in determining what he knew over the past four years about who carried out the shooting.

Since the arrests were made last week, police have said the shooting does not appear to have been a hate crime, contrary to what was widely believed. The motive, as it has been presented so far by police, came from a desire for revenge on the part of the main suspects.

While the case remains under a strict gag order, it is expected to be partially lifted on Sunday, which will allow more details to be made public.

Meanwhile on Friday, a record-breaking 100,000 people from Israel and abroad took part in the annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade.

Thousands of people crammed into Gan Meir park in central Tel Aviv as the festivities got under way with a community “happening,” complete with musical performances, stalls representing local organizations and speeches from public figures such as Mayor Ron Huldai, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich and Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On.

Despite the festive atmosphere, not all of the speakers were given a warm welcome.

When Lapid, who was the first high-ranking politician to speak, took the podium, he was booed and heckled, and was unable to begin his speech.

“There is no future with Lapid and Bibi [Netanyahu],” the crowd chanted, in a reference to Lapid’s party, Yesh Atid (“There is a future”).

He stood in silence, waiting for the crowd to allow him to speak. Event organizers pleaded with some of the hecklers to allow the finance minister to speak.

Eventually, Lapid broke his silence and said that “no screams and jeers will stop me from supporting the LGBT community.”

Once he was able to begin his remarks, the crowd became more responsive. Lapid said he came to the parade to talk about “the rights of gay people to marry and adopt children,” adding that he was proud of the Israeli gay community and that it should take pride in itself.

Livnat, who was the official representative of the Likud party to speak at the annual pride event, was also booed when she took to the stage.

“I came here today with love and pride, and I expect you to accept it,” she told the heckling crowd.

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