Jerusalem Gay Pride parade attacker gets life sentence

Ultra-Orthodox Jew fatally stabbed a teenage girl and wounded several marchers at the parade in 2015.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Yishai Schlissel (C), convicted of killing a woman during the 2015 Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, is escorted by security personnel before he is sentenced at the Jerusalem District Court June 26, 2016.

Updated Jun 27, 2016

An Israeli court handed a man a life sentence on Sunday for murdering a teenage girl at a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem in 2015, an attack he carried out just weeks after serving a jail term for a similar attack a decade earlier.

During the proceedings, the court criticised the police for failing to act in spite of having knowledge of the danger 40-year-old Yishai Schlissel posed.

At the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade in 2005, Schlissel stabbed three people, all of whom survived. In 2007, he was sentenced to 12 years and subsequently released early, in June 2015, with customary time off for good behaviour.

Following his release from prison, police were instructed to be on the lookout for Schlissel and bar him from the event. Seven police officers were reassigned and four formally reprimanded for failing to do so.

In addition to his life sentence, the court tagged an additional 30 years onto his term for attempted murder, a statement from Israel's Justice Ministry said.

Gay Pride parades have long been a focus of tension between Israel's predominantly secular majority and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority.

More than 200,000 people marched in Tel Aviv on June 3 during the annual event for 2016. Police had issued prior warnings to right-wing groups to stay away, unsuccessfully requesting the court for restraining orders.

Meanwhile, major cities around the globe held Pride events over the weekend to celebrate gay and transgender rights. Many paid tribute to the 49 lives lost in the deadly Orlando attack which took place on June 12.

New York and San Francisco were among the many cities which tightened security for the parades in the wake of the attack.  

Pride parades were held across many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and India.

TRTWorld and agencies