Israeli Police have arrested an Orthodox Jew who launched a knife attack at a Jerusalem gay pride parade Thursday, stabbing and injuring six people.
The attacker, Yishai Shlissel, is the same man who stabbed three people at the same type of parade in 2005, a police spokesperson said.
Two of the six people stabbed were wounded seriously, the spokesperson added.
Schlissel had been hiding in a nearby supermarket; when the parade passed by, he emerged from behind the crowd, reached into his pocket, pulled out his knife and started stabbing the participants of the rally repeatedly until he was finally tackled by the police.
‘Everyone Had Blood On Their Hands’
According to BBC, Yasmin Yusupov and her friends were marching when she “started seeing a lot of people running.”
“We didn’t realise what happened but I was pulling the friends who were with me to run away. We just banged on doors of people’s houses. We tried asking them to get us inside.
“When we came back I saw a few bodies on the floor right in front of me. Everyone had blood on their hands because they were trying to help,” she added.
The rally continued after the injured were transported to the hospital, but not with as much zest. The protestors rallied through the streets chanting “end the violence.”
‘A Most Serious Incident’ And A ‘Terrible Hate Crime’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack, saying it was as “a most serious incident”.
As reported by CNN, he said, “In the state of Israel the individual’s freedom of choice is one of basic values. We must ensure that in Israel, every man and woman lives in security in any way they choose. That’s how we acted in the past and how we’ll continue to act. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery.”
President Reuven Rivlin said the stabbing was a “terrible hate crime”.
“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,” he said.
Jerusalem police spokesman said that despite a “massive presence” of police at the parade “the man managed to pull out a knife and attack.”
“I do think that homophobia is rooted in the city, but that’s the point of the parade,” said Benny Zupick after the attack, as reported by USA Today. “We are trying to change that. And hopefully we will change that. It takes one man to create a scene like this. Hopefully he’s a minority.”
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