Ultra-Orthodox Man Convicted of Murder for Fatal Teen Stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

The verdict also criticizes police for failing to take precautions after Yishai Schlissel's release from prison only a month earlier for a similar attack.

Yishai Schlissel at Jerusalem court. April 19, 2016.
Emil Salman

Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday convicted Yishai Schlissel, 39, for the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki and attempted murder for stabbing and wounding six other people at a gay pride parade last July.

Judges on the three-member panel severely criticized the police as well, saying they had failed to properly absorb the lessons of a previous attack by Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man, on a gay pride parade in 2005.

They described as unfathomable the ease with which Schlissel managed to perpetrate an additional attack only a month after his release from prison for the earlier stabbings in which he wounded three people.

The judges also criticized the law for failing to require follow-up monitoring of dangerous criminals once they have completed serving their sentences.

"Shira was an innocent, idealistic young woman full of hopes and dreams. The accused perpetrated a dark and cruel and useless merciless act that snuffed out her life," the judges wrote.

Schlissel was indicted in August for Banki's murder, and as his charge sheet was read out in court he blurted out that "whenever there is a gay pride parade [you should] stop the blasphemy against God. Stop the madness and all the people of Israel should repent."

Schlissel underwent psychiatric evaluation before standing trial. He defiantly refused any representation, saying in the past that he doesn't recognize the court's authority.