Ultra-orthodox man goes on a stabbing spree at gay parade
A knife wielding anti-gay Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man lunged into a group of revelers at Jerusalem's annual gay pride parade and stabbed six people on Thursday evening as they marched in the holy city, Israeli police and witnesses said.
The suspected attacker, Yishai Schlissel, was arrested at the scene on Thursday. He has appeared in court and was remanded on Friday and his arrest was extended for 12 days as the investigation against him continues.
Yishai Shlissel raises a knife as he unleashed on an attack in a Gay Pride parade. AFP PHOTO
The man had recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for stabbing several people at a gay pride parade in 2005, police spokesperson Luba Samri said.
Witnesses told Channel 2 TV that an Ultra-Orthodox man rushed the marchers and stabbed multiple people before Israeli police jumped on him and arrested him.
Yishai Avior told the station that he heard screaming and saw three people on the ground bleeding.
"People ran in every direction to take cover. Where I was standing there were three people on the ground bleeding. There was immense panic and shock," he said.
Thursday's attacker carried out a similar attack that wounded several people at a gay pride parade in Jerusalem a decade ago. Media reported he hid in a nearby supermarket and jumped out to attack the march when it passed.Jerusalem police spokesperson Asi Ahroni said there was a "massive presence" of police securing the parade but "unfortunately the man managed to pull out a knife and attack."
Yishai Shlissel is brought handcuffed to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on July 31, 2015. AFP Photo
The parade continued after the wounded were taken to a hospital, with protesters chanting "end the violence."
Jerusalem's annual parade is smaller and more restrained than the annual gay pride march in Tel Aviv, which was attended by some 100,000 revelers last month.
Tel Aviv has emerged as one of the world's most gay-friendly travel destinations recently, in sharp contrast to most of the rest of the Middle East, where gays are persecuted or even killed.Gays serve openly in Israel's military and Parliament, and many popular artists and entertainers are gay, but gays still face hostility among religious Jews.
Yishai Shlissel is brought handcuffed to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. AFP Photo