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At least six people have been stabbed during a Pride march in Jerusalem today, reports the Washington Blade. At least two of those victims suffered serious injuries, with one woman reportedly critically wounded.

Organisers of the march have described the attack as “horrific”. Tom Canning who is the development director for Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance’s told the Blade that at least four people were injured by the man.

Plain clothed police officers arrest Yishai Shlissel after stabbings.

The suspect was detained immediately after the incident occurred has been identified by the police as Yishai Shlissel


Shlissel, who stabbed three people at a Jerusalem Pride march in 2003, had recently been released from prison after serving a 10-year-sentence for attempted murder and aggravated assault related to that attack.

Schlissel had returned to his hometown upon being released, where he began distributing “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 Haaretz.

An estimated 5,000 people gathered for a parade through the streets of Jerusalem to mark the annual Pride celebration.

Schlissel reportedly approached marchers on Keren Hayesod Street and began screaming while pulling a knife from his coat before he began stabbing his victims. Haaretz notes that a police officer was able to tackle the suspect and arrest him.

Jerusalem District Police chief Moshe Edry said police didn’t have concrete intelligence that Schlissel was in the area of the parade. “We were prepared for every scenario, but our perimeter was breached. This is a severe, hard incident, which required us to investigate to find out what fault cause this breach,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the stabbing was a very serious event, and promised that the state will bring the full weight of the law against the suspects.

“In the state of Israel the individual’s freedom of choice is one of basic values. We must ensure that in Israel, every man and woman lives in security in any way they choose. That’s how we acted in the past and how we’ll continue to act. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” he said in a statement.

A permit had been granted by the Police to 30 right-wing activists to protest against the event near the Great Synagogue, not far from the marchers.

Police arrested right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel earlier this week, though they denied the arrest had anything to do with the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade. Marzel is a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party and usually takes part in the annual protest against the parade.

Despite the violent outburst, organizers decided to continue the march.

Last Updated on Jul 31, 2015

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