At least six people were stabbed at Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade on Thursday. One woman was critically wounded, two men were seriously wounded and another two men and a woman suffered light wounds.
Yishai Schlissel, an Ultra Orthodox man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence. Schlissel was convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In 2007, following an appeal, the Supreme Court mitigated his sentence to 10 years.
Isreali news outlet Haaretz reported that after his release, Schlissel returned to his hometown, where residents said that he distributed hand-written pamphlets in which he called on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the sake of preventing the parade.
According to witnesses, the attacker emerged behind the marchers and began stabbing them while screaming. A police officer then tackled him to the ground and arrested him.
Dramatic images showed the assailant reaching inside his coat and raising a knife above his head behind a group of young people on the parade.
According to Haaretz, police had granted a permit to 30 right-wing activists, including far-right leader Benzi Gopstein — who heads the anti-miscegenation group, Lehava — to protest the event not far from the march. Earlier Thursday, police arrested right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel though they denied the arrest had anything to do with the the parade itself.