A 16-year-old victim of the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade stabbing attack has died.
Shira Banki died Sunday afternoon at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, where she had been fighting for her life after being stabbed in the chest and stomach.
Her family agreed to donate her organs, Hadassah announced.
“The murder at the pride parade in the streets of Jerusalem is a criminal act, and we won’t let it achieve its objective. We’ll continue to allow complete free expression in the city for everyone, continue to support all the groups and communities in the city and Open House. We’ll continue the education to accept the other and tolerance in the education system and won’t be deterred by those who try to prevent this by foul methods,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement after the teen’s death.
Yishai Schlissel, a haredi Orthodox man from Modiin Ilit in the West Bank, remains in police custody after being deemed psychologically fit to stand trial on Friday, a day after he allegedly stabbed six marchers. Schlissel had been released from prison three weeks earlier after serving 10 years for a similar attack at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade.
On Saturday night, police for the second time detained the wife of an unnamed rabbi who has been vocal in his opposition to the pride parade, on suspicion that the couple was aware for Schlissel’s plans to attack marchers in Thursday’s parade, the Times of Israel reported, citing Hebrew news reports.
In the wake of the stabbing attack, an Israeli lawmaker announced that he is gay.
Itzik Shmuli of the Zionist Union on Friday went public with his sexual orientation in a column in the Israeli Hebrew-language daily Yediot Acharonot, saying that “it is no longer possible to remain silent.”
“We can no longer remain silent because the knife is raised against the neck of the entire LGBT community, my community,” Shmuli wrote on Friday. “It will not stop there. This is the time to fight the great darkness.”
Meanwhile, another Israeli lawmaker, Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party, dug in his heels after calling the Jerusalem gay pride parade an “abomination march.”
“So here I say it again fearlessly: I object vehemently to violence, and promise to object no less vehemently to the recognition of same-sex couples in the Jewish State. I promise to fight violence, and no less than that, I will fight any attempt to besmirch traditional Jewish family values,” he wrote Sunday in a Facebook post.
Smotrich called the Saturday night anti-violence protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem “a left-wing witch hunt” and said they were “all incitement and silencing” against anyone who opposes the organizers’ views.
Smotrich said that demonstration organizers “saved (party chairman Naftali) Bennett from himself,” by withdrawing an invitation for him to speak at the Tel Aviv rally. Bennett’s invitation was rescinded after a hostile reaction from participants to his participation and after he refused to sign a pledge committing to advancing homosexual-themed legislation.
Bennett, who said he was on his way to the rally when he was called by organizers and told not to show up, on Sunday tried to repair the damage done by Smotrich, but said he would not support recognition of same-sex marriage.
“I am in favor of full rights for the gay community,” Bennett told Army Radio. “In terms of formal recognition by the State of Israel for marriage , I am not.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Bennett said: “Whoever wants to find me fighting against violence, I am next to him with all my strength. Whoever wants me to remain silent, I will stand up to him with all my heart.”