One the victims of the stabbing that occurred at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade last Thursday has died from her injuries. Shira Banki, 16, was left in a critical condition after a Haredi man named Yishai Shlissel attacked revelers at the parade with a large knife, just weeks after he was released from prison for committing a similar crime 10 years ago. Banki, a student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University High School, died on Sunday.
Haaretz reported that Banki took part in last Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs. They family also issued a statement yesterday:
Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old—full of life and love—who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also sent his direct condolences, expressing that Banki died “because she bravely supported everyone’s right to live their life in dignity and security.” According to Haaretz, he added: “We will not allow a despicable killer to undermine the shared values underpinning Israeli society.”
Out of the six victims of the attack, one other person, Yardon Noy, was left in a critical condition. However, The Times of Israel reported that Noy has recovered well enough from his injuries in order to be released from the hospital this week.
Meanwhile, Shlissel has remained unapologetic and defiant in court. According to AFP, the suspect announced at the beginning of last Friday’s court proceedings: “I do not accept this court’s authority,” and “this court is part of the mechanism of evil.” The Times of Israel reported that he later claimed he was “on a mission from God.”
On Saturday, protesters gathered in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba in response to both the gay pride parade stabbing and Friday’s deadly firebombing of a Palestinian family home in the West Bank by Jewish extremists.
Jas Chana is a former intern at Tablet.