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Israeli Jew Convicted of Murder in Jerusalem Gay Pride Attack

  • VOA News

FILE - Ultra-Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel walks through a Gay Pride parade prior to pulling a knife from under his coat and stabbing people in Jerusalem, July 30, 2015.

FILE - Ultra-Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel walks through a Gay Pride parade prior to pulling a knife from under his coat and stabbing people in Jerusalem, July 30, 2015.

An ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew faces the possibility of life in prison after being convicted Tuesday of killing a 16-year-old girl last year at a gay pride parade in Jerusalem.

Yishai Schissel was also convicted of six counts of attempted murder as he stabbed marchers with a long knife three weeks after completing a 10-year prison sentence for a similar attack. He also posted a message on the Internet, describing the gay pride parade as an "abomination" and the need to stop it "even at the cost of one's life."

A hearing to determine Schlissel's sentence will be held in June.

"This is not someone who should see the light of day," said Noam Eyal, a parade participant who was wounded by Schlissel. "The person is a danger ... and it is not clear when he will stop being a threat."

Witnesses say Schlissel, donning a dark suit typically worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews, lunged into the crowd and stabbed marchers including Shira Banki, who later died of her wounds.

The court criticized Israeli police in its ruling, stating they were aware of the dangers Schlissel posed to the public. "The unbearable ease in which the defendant managed to infiltrate the marchers and carry out his nefarious deed before being apprehended is incomprehensible," the court said.

Jerusalem, which holds a gay pride parade annually, is inhabited by mostly conservative residents, many of whom are opposed to homosexuality. Jerusalem is in sharp contrast to nearby Tel Aviv, which is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

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