Is­raeli teen stabbed at pride pa­rade dies; gov’t fac­ing pres­sure

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MIKE SMITH

A teenager stabbed at a Gay Pride march died of her in­juries Sun­day as the at­tack and a fire­bomb­ing that killed a Pales­tinian child put pres­sure on Is­rael to crack down on Jewish ex­trem­ists.

Shira Banki, 16, was among six peo­ple stabbed at the Jerusalem march on Thurs­day by a sus­pect iden­ti­fied as an ul­tra-Ortho­dox Jew re­leased from prison only weeks ear­lier for a sim­i­lar at­tack.

The five other vic­tims suf­fered light in­juries.

Banki’s fam­ily said Shira had been mur­dered be­cause “she came to sup­port the rights of her friends and any per­son to live as they wish.”

“For no rea­son and due to evil, stu­pid­ity and neg­li­gence, the life of our won­der­ful flower was cut off,” they said in a state­ment.

Hun­dreds of mourn­ers, in­clud­ing class­mates, teach­ers, mem­bers of the LGBT com­mu­nity and sup­port­ers, held a vigil for Banki at Zion Square near the spot where she was stabbed.

They lit can­dles while mu­sic she loved was played through speak­ers and pic­tures of her were pro­jected on a large screen, an AFP pho­tog­ra­pher said.

The sus­pect of the at­tack, Yishai Sh­lis­sel, had stabbed and wounded three peo­ple at the 2005 Gay Pride march in Jerusalem. He served 10 years in prison and was re­leased just three weeks ago.

Be­fore the latest as­sault he posted a let­ter on the In­ter­net speak­ing of the “abom­i­na­tion” of a Gay Pride pa­rade be­ing held in the Holy City and the need to stop it.

Po­lice formed a com­mit­tee fol­low­ing harsh crit­i­cism over how Sh­lis­sel — who has told the court he did not ac­cept its au­thor­ity — was al­lowed near the march so soon af­ter his re­lease from jail.

On Fri­day morn­ing, hours af­ter the march, as­sailants sus­pected of be­ing Jewish set­tlers fire­bombed a Pales­tinian fam­ily’s home in the West Bank, killing an 18-mon­thold tod­dler.

The at­tacks have put a spotlight on Jewish ex­trem­ists, and the fire­bomb­ing fur­ther in­flamed ten­sions be­tween Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans, with clashes break­ing out in var­i­ous cities.

On Sun­day morn­ing, Pales­tinian protesters clashed with Is­raeli po­lice at Jerusalem’s Al- Aqsa mosque, one of Is­lam’s holi­est sites, though calm was later re­stored.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu con­demned both at­tacks and called the fire­bomb­ing “ter­ror­ism” — a word usu­ally used by Is­raelis to re­fer to vi­o­lence by Pales­tini­ans. On Sun­day, he spoke of “zero tol­er­ance” for such acts.

AP

Pales­tini­ans run for cover from tear gas fired by Is­raeli sol­diers dur­ing clashes at the en­trance to Duma vil­lage near the West Bank city of Nablus, Sun­day, Aug. 2.

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