One of the people stabbed during Jerusalem’s gay pride parade Thursday has died. Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teenager, succumbed to her wounds and her organs will be donated, hospital officials said. Banki took part in the march to show solidarity with her LGBT friends, reports Haaretz.
Banki’s family issued a statement:
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.
Banki was one of six people wounded by Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who was arrested immediately after the attack. Police have confirmed he carried out a similar attack on a gay pride parade in 2005 and had been released from prison three weeks earlier. He had publicly complained about the parade after his release, leading to questions about whether the police should have kept a closer watch on his whereabouts. Jerusalem police said they had no intelligence that Schlissel was planning to attend the parade, reports the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the girl’s family. “Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that each one can live their life in honor and security,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We will not allow this despicable killer to undermine the core values that Israeli society is based upon. We contemptuously denounce his actions of hate and violence. We will do everything in our power to bring this killer to face justice.”
Two others wounded in the attack are still hospitalized in serious condition but appear to be making progress.