A senior police officer in Jerusalem urged his companions to direct special attention to Yishai Schlissel just days before the assailant stabbed six marchers at the capital’s gay pride parade, killing a teenage girl and wounding the others, according to a Channel 2 report Wednesday.
Ahead of the parade, senior members of the Jerusalem District Police named six individuals, four men — including Schlissel — and two women, who were suspected of planning to carry out acts of violence against the marchers, Channel 2 said. However, even after he was named, police did not take any measures to monitor Schlissel.
Earlier Wednesday, Yarden Noy, who was critically injured in the stabbing but has since recovered, criticized police for misplacing evidence following the attack. According to Noy, police investigators managed to lose the blood-soaked shirt he was wearing at the time of the attack, as well as a transcript of testimony he gave immediately after he was stabbed.
“This is amateur conduct, and disturbing,” Noy told Channel 2. “If [the police] managed to lose the transcript even for a moment, if they managed to lose my shirt soaked in blood; I just hope they do not lose the knife or the killer.”
Authorities had already come under fire for failing to keep Schlissel away from the annual march, despite the fact that he had made a series of public statements indicating plans for an attack at the gay pride rally. Schlissel also distributed a handwritten, anti-gay manifesto in which he called the march “shameful” and “blasphemous.” He had been released from prison three weeks before the attack after serving 10 years for perpetrating a near-identical crime at the capital’s gay pride parade in 2005, when he stabbed three people.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday that the murder could “undoubtedly” have been prevented. Jerusalem’s police chief Moshe Edri has accepted responsibility for the failure, but does not intend to resign, Army Radio reported. Erdan appointed a task force to examine the police’s handling of the parade.
Shira Banki, the 16-year-old high school student stabbed by Schlissel during Thursday’s parade, succumbed to her wounds on Sunday. On Monday, thousands of people gathered at Kibbutz Nahshon, located in central Israel near Beit Shemesh, to pay their respects to Banki as she was laid to rest.