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Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Stabbing Suspect Identified as 2005 Attacker

Yishai Schlissel had just been released from a 10 year prison sentence for the 2005 stabbing.

by Charlotte Meredith
Jul 30 2015, 5:10pm

Photo par Sebastian Scheiner/AP

The ultra-Orthodox suspect who allegedly stabbed six people during a gay pride march in Jerusalem on Thursday has reportedly been identified as Yishai Schlissel, the same man who had previously stabbed three other gay men at a parade in 2005.

Schlissel had just been released from a 10 year prison sentence for the 2005 stabbing, the Times of Israel reported.

Schlissel is a follower of Haredi Judaism, which is characterized by its rejection of modern secular culture. He expressed his feelings about the parade in an interview with an ultra-Orthodox radio station several weeks ago.

"If a single person comes and wants to hold the [gay pride] parade, then therefore it's worthwhile to do something extreme," he said.

"These impure people want to defile Jerusalem," he said, referring to the LGBT community. "The objective — I need to stop this parade."

Authorities reportedly wrestled Schlissel to the ground before arresting him shortly after the stabbing.

Two of those injured are in serious condition, a spokesperson for the city's ambulance service told the BBC.

Schlissel reportedly attempted to enter the parade near Jerusalem's Paris Square, but was turned away by police. He then came back and began stabbing people on Keren Hayesod Street. Zoe Schochet, 18, was talking to one of the victims when he was stabbed him in the back.

"It was really scary," she told the Times of Israel.

Following the attack, parade organizers decided to continue the march.

Members of Lehava, the right-wing group that opposes assimilation and interfaith marriages, were protesting the parade where it began on Thursday. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised justice for the victims in a statement issued Thursday following the attack.

"This is a most grave incident," he said. "We will bring those responsible to justice. We must assure that in Israel, every man and women live in security in whichever path they take."

Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau echoed the Prime Minister's words, saying, "The Jewish Torah forbids any act of violence or harm done to others, all the more so when an individual injures another and tries to kill him."

"This is an extremely grave act and it is clear to all that this is not the way of the Torah or of Judaism," he added.