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Pride parade stabber to undergo psychiatric evaluation

After tests, courts will decide whether Yishai Schlissel, who killed teen girl in Jerusalem attack, is fit to stand trial

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six people at the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade on July 30, 2015, is seen in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on July 31, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six people at the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade on July 30, 2015, is seen in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on July 31, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday ordered a full psychiatric evaluation of Yishai Schlissel, who is being held in custody after he stabbed six marchers at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade last Thursday, killing a teenage girl and wounding the others.

Based on the results of the evaluation, which will be carried within the next two days in line with a police request, the court will deem whether Schlissel is fit to stand trial for his actions. Israel Prison Service’s last week submitted an initial psychological evaluation of Schlissel to the court, which in turn extended Schlissel’s remand until next Tuesday.

Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, has refused legal counsel, saying he does not recognize the legal standing of the court since it does not abide by Jewish law.

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.

Authorities are under fire for failing to keep Schlissel away from the annual march. He had made a series of public statements indicating that he was planning another attack on the gay pride rally. He also distributed a handwritten, anti-gay manifesto in which he called the march “shameful” and “blasphemous.”

Yishai Schlissel attacking people with a knife during a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem Thursday, July 30, 2015 and inset Shira Banki in a picture dated November 2013 taken from her Facebook page. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner and Facebook)
Yishai Schlissel attacking people with a knife during a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, July 30, 2015, and inset Shira Banki in a picture dated November 2013 taken from her Facebook page. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner and Facebook)

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. Thousands of people gathered at Kibbutz Nahshon on Monday to pay their respects to Banki as she was laid to rest.

Tamar Pileggi and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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