An ultra-Orthodox man was sentenced to life imprisonment in Jerusalem on Sunday, for committing murder at the city’s gay pride parade last year.
Motivated by religious extremism, Yishai Schlissel fatally stabbed 16-year-old Shira Banki – and also wounded six other marchers, resulting in 31 more years in prison on top of his life sentence. He was forced to pay each victim the maximum amount set by law, 258,000 shekels.
“This is a very important declaration that the State of Israel rejects homophobic violence,” said Sarah Weil, an LGBTI activist who has been running weekly events to increase tolerance in Jerusalem since Banki’s murder.
Weil told The AJN that the judge could have handed down a lighter sentence. “I’m proud of our justice system,” she said, adding: “It’s the right decision, he should remain in prison for the rest of his life.”