UPDATE: 16-Year-Old Girl Stabbed At Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Dies
The 16-year-old teenage girl stabbed at last week’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade succumbed to her injuries and passed away Sunday afternoon, the Hadassah University Medical Center said.
Shira Banki, the deceased, was among five others who were stabbed by Yishai Shlissel at the gay parade. Shlissel, an Orthodox Jew, had been released only a few weeks earlier after serving his 10-year sentence for attacking marchers at the same event in 2005.
Banki’s family said, “Our Shira was murdered simply because of the fact that she was a happy 16-year-old girl, full of life and love, who came to support her friends and everyone else’s right to live as they please.”
The family, calling for “a little less hate and a lot more love,” said that they will donate her organs in order to save the lives of others.
According to The Daily Mail, Shlissel was taken into custody at the scene. He had been previously convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault, and was thereby sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment for stabbing three people at the 2005 Gay Pride Parade.
The Supreme Court reduced his sentence to 10 years after he appealed in 2007.
Suspect gave away flyers
Released three weeks before last week’s knife attack, he returned to Modiin Ilit, his hometown, and was noticed handing out pamphlets calling for “all Jews faithful to God” to stop the march from taking place.
On Friday, during his court appearance, he said, “I do not accept this court’s authority,” as reported by Haaretz.
“This court is part of the mechanism of evil. I have no interest in cooperating at all. I do not recognise any of the regime’s institutions,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow for Banki’s death, saying that she “was murdered because she courageously supported the principle according to which everyone is entitled to live their lives in dignity and safety. We will not allow the abhorrent murderer to undermine the fundamental values upon which Israeli society is based.
“We strongly condemn the attempt to instill hatred and violence in our midst and we will deal with the murderer to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
Dr. Ofer Merin, the head of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center trauma unit, said that Banki’s wound in her back had caused severe bleeding because of which her blood pressure lowered significantly and she lost consciousness, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.
“In the trauma room and the surgical theater, we managed to restore and stabilize her blood pressure and stop the bleeding, but we didn’t know how long her brain had been without oxygen,” he said.
Dr. Merin was on the team that provided treatment to Banki.
Banki was moved to the neurosurgery department at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem on a slim possibility that she could be saved.
“Without a blood supply to her head and brain, there was a one-in-a-million chance of saving her, but they couldn’t, and she suffered terminal brain death. Her family donated organs for transplant,” Dr. Merin said.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the attack and expressed his sympathies towards the family.
“The murder of this young girl at the gay pride parade on the streets of Jerusalem is a criminal offense,” he said. “We will continue to allow full freedom of expression in this city, we will continue to support all groups and communities, we will enhance education and tolerance for others in our school system, and we will not be deterred by those who are trying to prevent it.”
Among the five other victims who were stabbed in the attack, two remain in the hospital; though their condition has been said to be improving. The wounds of the three others were not serious, and so they were released.
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