The BBC has reported that 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was attacked at a Gay Pride march in Jerusalem, has died.
According the report Banki was one of six people who were attacked at Thursday’s event. In an interview with The Jerusalem Post “Our Shira was murdered simply because of the fact that she was a happy 16-year-old girl, full of life and love, who came to support her friends and everyone else’s right to live as they please,” the family of Shira Banki said.
Banki suffered severe bleeding from several wounds inflicted. Dr. Ofer Merin, the head of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center trauma unit, told The Jerusalem Post that they surgical team who treated the 16-year-old did not know how long her brain had been without oxygen. “In the trauma room and the surgical theater, we managed to restore and stabilize her blood pressure and stop the bleeding,” he said.
The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also extended his condolences to Banki’s family. “We strongly condemn the attempt to instill hatred and violence in our midst and we will deal with the murderer to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
The BBC report confirmed that several hours after Banki’s death a group of people gathered for a vigil near to the area where she was stabbed. It has been reported that Yishai Schlissel stabbed six people at the march before being overcome and wrestled to the ground by bystanders. The Jerusalem Post noted that this act of violence wasn’t Schlissel’s first and that he had previously stabbed several people at a similar event in the capital. Schlissel “was sentenced to 12 years in prison for that attack, served 10 years, and was released three weeks ago,” according the this report.
As 16 year old Shira Banki was layed to rest at Kibbutz Nachshon thousands of people gathered to pay their final respects. Banki’s parents spoke movingly of their daughter. “Shir, an intelligent, beautiful, intelligent, gentle, curious, musical girl… Even adolescence had passed over her with grace, and she blossomed like a beautiful flower,” they shared. “All of her innocence, beauty, happiness and goodness fell on the altar of hatred, malice, cruelty and ignorance,” they said. “We are left with pain, longing and shock that every parent would rather die than feel.
“We have no issue with people wearing kippas or with beards,” they continued. “We know that many prayers were said in sincerity and emotion for the recovery of our daughter — both in public and behind closed doors. Our dispute is with hatred and the sanctifying of your objective at the expense of the pain of another person.
“Now we will go home and try to rebuild our family — to learn how to be five instead of six. We will try to hate less and love more; that’s what we can offer you.”
The Huffington Post has confirmed that the Jerusalem’s District Court has indicted Yishai Schlissel on a murder charge along with several attempted murder charges.