Erdan rejects findings of probe into fatal stabbing at gay parade
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Erdan rejects findings of probe into fatal stabbing at gay parade

Internal security minister demands panel that recommended the firing of 3 senior officers resubmit evaluation

Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, May 18, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, May 18, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday rejected the recommendations made by an internal Israel Police panel, which advised punishing senior officers for failing to prevent the stabbing attack that killed a 16-year-old girl and wounded five others at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last month.

Earlier on Sunday, the panel submitted its recommendations to Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau, who was to submit them together with his own recommendations to Erdan. However, according to a Ynet report, Erdan dismissed the panel’s findings, demanding an amended report be resubmitted to him within two days.

The probe recommended reprimanding Jerusalem District Commander Moshe Edri and firing outright at least three senior police officers of assistant commissioner rank or higher (equivalent to a brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces).

According to police, the findings would ultimately be made public.

“It is our intention to behave with transparency and fairness and to publicize in a proper manner the committee findings after they have been presented, worked on, and decisions made about the issue and likewise after all those connected to the matter are appropriately informed via us [the police] and not via the media.”

Erdan set up the panel in the wake of the July 30 attack, in which Yishai Schlissel stabbed six parade participants, killing 16-year-old Shira Banki.

Accused Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade attacker Yishai Schlissel is escorted by police after his hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on August 11, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Accused Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade attacker Yishai Schlissel is escorted by police after his hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on August 11, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Schlissel carried out the attack three weeks after he was released from prison, after serving a 10-year sentence for perpetrating a similar crime in 2005. In the weeks since his release, he had openly declared his hostility to the Gay Pride event and claimed there was an imperative to stop it.

Ahead of the parade, Jerusalem Police intelligence officers named six individuals, four men — including Schlissel — and two women, who were suspected of planning acts of violence against the marchers. Despite these warnings, the police did not take any measures to monitor Schlissel.

On Saturday night, victims of the attack sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Erdan, and Acting Commissioner Sau demanding that those behind the failure to stop Schlissel take responsibility, that the police apologize, and that the committee’s conclusions be made public.

In the letter, the victims termed the incident a “failure” by the police.

“When the conclusions are drawn and it is clear who is responsible for the failure, we expect them to take personal responsibility,” they wrote.

“Despite all the warning signs, the police didn’t prevent a hate crime that cost the life of a wonderful young girl,” the letter continued, urging a full, transparent investigation.

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