August 2, 2015 at 10:36 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Teenager stabbed during Jerusalem Pride march dies

Shira Banki, Jerusalem Pride, gay news, Washington Blade

Shira Banki, a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed during a Jerusalem Pride march last week, succumbed to her injuries on Aug. 2, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Open House)

A 16-year-old teenager who was stabbed during a Jerusalem Pride march last week has died.

The Jerusalem Post reported officials at a local hospital announced that Shira Banki passed away on Sunday afternoon. The newspaper said Banki’s family has agreed to donate her organs.

Banki died three days after Yishai Shlissel allegedly stabbed her and five others with a butcher’s knife as they were taking part in a march that Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, a local LGBT advocacy group, organized. Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, had just been released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence in connection with the stabbing of three people during a Jerusalem Pride march in 2005.

“The LGBTQ community in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Open House mourn her death at the hands of a fanatic, consumed with hatred and fear. The knife that fatally injured Shira was sharpened by years of incitement,” said Jerusalem Open House in a statement after officials announced Banki’s death. “That knife targeted all those who believe in a just society, where every woman and man can live freely, without fear of violence and persecution. That knife has wounded all those who believe in life and in God’s creation.”

“Ignorance and fear will not discourage our uncompromising demand to live our lives as we are,” added the organization. “Knives will not stop us. With pride and pain, with broken hearts and tearful eyes, with Shira’s memory and our unanswered prayers, we will continue to march in Jerusalem.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday extended his condolences to Banki’s family.

“Shira was murdered because she courageously supported the principle that everyone is entitled to live their lives in dignity and safety,” said Netanyahu in a statement he posted to his Twitter account.

State Department spokesperson Katy Bondy also reacted to Banki’s death.

“We extend our condolences to the victim’s family,” Bondy told the Washington Blade on Sunday.

More than 5,000 people attended a “mass rally” in Jerusalem on Saturday during which Israeli President Reuven Rivlin reiterated his condemnation of the attack.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and National Council of Jewish Women CEO Nancy Kaufman are among those who have also publicly condemned the attack. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described it as a “terrible act of violence.”

“We condemn yesterday’s violent attack at the Jerusalem pride parade, and our thoughts are with the six reported victims of this attack, their families, friends, as well as the entire Jerusalem LGBT community,” said State Department spokesperson Mark Toner on Friday at the beginning of his daily press briefing. “We’re encouraged by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments condemning this attack, and we welcome the government of Israel’s commitment to ensuring that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.”

Jerusalem, hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade

More than 5,000 people attended a rally in Jerusalem on Aug. 1, 2015, to condemn anti-LGBT violence in the wake of the attack against Jerusalem Pride. (Photo courtesy of Tom Canning/Jerusalem Open House)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved.