Man Who Praised Fatal Attack at 2015 Jerusalem Pride Parade Fined $50

Gilad Kleiner was convicted of incitement to murder for expressing support for Shira Banki’s killer, but charges were reduced due to his fragile mental health

File photo: A memorial service held for Shira Banki in Jerusalem, August 2, 2015.
Nir Keidar

Gilad Kleiner was fined 180 shekels ($50) Thursday for publishing statements in support of the murder of Shira Banki at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem in 2015. The Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court also gave Kleiner one year’s probation and ordered him to post an unspecified cash guarantee.

Prosecutors had sought to require Kleiner to perform community service as part of a plea bargain, but the court determined that he was mentally unfit for such activity.

In his ruling, Judge Haim Nachmias wrote that Kleiner had come to understand the gravity of his crime.

Kleiner was convicted in January of incitement to violence and terrorism for Facebook posts in support of the stabbing spree by Yishai Schlissel during the Jerusalem Pride Parade in the summer of 2015.

Shortly after the incident but before the death of Shira Banki, 16, was announced, Kleiner wrote on Facebook: “Yishai Schlissel, if you already decided to stab for the second time, and a short time after you were released from a 10-year prison sentence, couldn’t you have been somewhat more effective? Unfortunately you won’t be released so fast now, so at least you would have succeeded in killing some of those accursed perverts!”

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In the wake of responses to his comments, Kleiner posted another Facebook status in which he wrote, “I’ve said more than once in the past that at every abomination parade like that I hope that a Qassam rocket will fall on them and crush thousands of them to death.”

While under house arrest after his detention by police, Kleiner sent a text message to around 100 people in which he expressed joy over Banki’s death. It read, in part: “Joy at the loss of the wicked! I received with great joy the report from the past hour about the death of one of the women stabbed at the abomination parade last Thursday.”

Commenting on the lightness of the sentence, the State Prosecutors’ Office said it had sought a punishment with a greater deterrent effect, including a fine of 10,000 shekels rather than “a symbolic fine of just 180” shekels.

Kleiner’s lawyer, Itamar Ben-Gvir, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, adding that while “the words of joy over the murder of a girl angered me too ... from here to criminal proceedings, the road is very long.”