Six people were stabbed Thursday, July 30 at the Jerusalem gay pride parade and one of the stabbed marchers has died.
Sixteen-year-old Shira Banki succumbed to her stab wounds on Sunday and was laid to rest Monday.
“Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that each one can live their life in honor and security,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We will not allow this despicable killer to undermine the core values that Israeli society is based upon. We contemptuously denounce his actions of hate and violence. We will do everything in our power to bring this killer to face justice.”
Thousands attended her funeral, most being strangers that wanted to support her family. Her parents said neither they nor Banki were part of the LGBT community, “but we support the right of everyone to maintain their way of life and customs. And the message of love and tolerance with which Shira went to the parade, she got from us as well.”
The attacker, Yishai Shlissel, was an Orthodox Jew who was released from prison just weeks before the parade. He was serving 10 years for stabbing marchers at a 2005 gay pride parade.
A video of the 2005 attack aired in Israel showing the attacker making quick slashing motions at marchers. Several people were hurt.
“We came together today for a festive event, but the joy was shattered when a terrible hate crime occurred here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” President Reuven Rivlin said at the time. “People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed. We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them.”
Large rallies in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as smaller ones throughout the country were held after the pride parade attack.
“What happened in Jerusalem goes against the spirit of (the Jewish) people…In every society there are extreme, murderous elements and regrettably it is true even among us but society and the state is judged by how the mainstream and the leadership acts,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to lead our country against hatred and homophobia.”