Hundreds participated in a rally commemorating ten years since the Bar Noar massacre, in which two LGBT people were killed, in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
Youth counselor Nir Katz, 26, and teenager Liz Triboshi, 16, were murdered and 11 people were wounded in the 2009 attack on the LGBT youth center. The case has never been closed and the murderer remains unknown.
The event, organized by the Israel Gay Youth (IGY) group, participants, including the families of the injured and youth from youth groups and movements from around the country, began with a march from the Bar Noar.
Ayala Katz, Nir's mother, as well as various leaders of LGBT organizations, spoke at the event.
"We, the Democratic Union, are committed to not sit in a government with homophobic parties," said Democratic Union's Nitzan Horowitz. "Whoever wants LGBT rights needs to vote for the party that is committed to fight for LGBT people and to protect democracy, freedom and equality."
"After a decade since the heinous murder at the Bar Noar, incitement against the LGBT community is still raging," said Ohad Chizki, Director of The Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel. "Elected officials attack with hate and ignorance and homophobia is alive and kicking. Even today, there are still young boys and girls who are in mortal danger and the police who are supposed to protect us don't always do their job."
"Even in 2019, Israel is still not a safe place for members of the LGBT community," added Chizki. "We will continue in the fight until no one needs to pay with their life and we will be equal and free to be ourselves. This is our will for Nir Katz, Liz Trobishaw and Shira Banki of blessed memory and I promise that we will never give up."
Two weeks ago, a 16-year-old was stabbed outside Beit Dror, an LGBT hostel in Tel Aviv.
In 2015, 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at the Jerusalem Pride Parade.
To mark ten years since the Bar Noar attack, IGY conducted a survey of Israeli citizens and asked if they believed that such an attack could happen again, Mako reported. They found that 76% of the public believes that such a murder based on sexual preference or identity could happen again. 28% of respondents said that they were sure such a murder would happen again.
"Ten years have passed since the terrible murder and we remember and hurt, but we fight with all our strength for pride and love and safety for every girl and boy of the Israeli youth," said Ofer Newman, CEO of IGY.
"The murderous incident at the Bar Noar has left trauma in the community and even today, ten years after the murder, we still witness the existence of violence and hate based on sexual preference and identity," added Newman. "IGY, the only LGBT youth group in Israel, will continue to fight for equality and acceptance for the community and to be a home for all the LGBT youth of Israel."