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Teenage victim of Jerusalem Gay Pride knife stabbing dies

By Andrew V. Pestano
1/5
Teenage victim of Jerusalem Gay Pride knife stabbing dies
Thousands of Israelis protest against Jewish terror and homophobia in Zion Square in Jerusalem,Israel, August 1, 2015. The demonstrators condemned Thursday's stabbing attack of six participants in Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade by an Ultra-Orthodox Jew and Friday's arson terror attack by Jewish extremists that resulted in the death of 18 month old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha in the West Bank. Photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A teenage victim of the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade knife attack, allegedly perpetrated by Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel, has died.

Shira Banki, 16, was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center on Thursday with serious injuries but succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. She was a student in Jerusalem's Hebrew University High School, according to Haaretz.

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"Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old -- full of life and love -- who came to express her support for her friends' rights to live as they choose," Banki's family said in a statement. "For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to Banki's family, adding that she died "because she bravely supported everyone's right to live their life in dignity and security."

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"We will not allow a despicable killer to undermine the shared values underpinning Israeli society," Netanyahu said. "We vehemently reject that attempt to spread hatred and violence and will work to prosecute the murderer to the full extent of the law."

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Schlissel reportedly launched the knife attack Thursday on revelers at the annual Gay Pride parade in the streets Jerusalem, stabbing six, injuring two critically, including Banki.

Schlissel was released from prison earlier in July after serving 10 years of a 12-year sentence on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault for stabbing and wounding three marchers in the same parade in 2005.

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Thousands of people were at the 13th annual parade, which was under heavy security. Witnesses said Schlissel broke through the crowd with a knife hidden under his jacket. Police wrestled him to the ground and arrested, but not before he could cause injuries.

Amy R. Connolly contributed to this report.

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