The ultra-Orthodox Jewish man suspected of stabbing six people at Jerusalem's gay pride parade yesterday has lashed out during his first court appearance, saying he refused to accept the legitimacy of the state or its laws. Yishai Shlissel was detained for the attack just three weeks after being released from a 10-year prison sentence for a similar attack in 2005.
"This court is part of the mechanism of evil," the suspect said, according to numerous media reports. "I have no interest in cooperating at all. I do not recognize any of the regime's institutions."
Shlissel said he refused to accept the court's authority on the basis that it was not abiding by the law of the Torah. He reportedly said he did not "trust" the Israeli government and blamed the state for Thursday's violent attack.
Police have extended Shlissel's detention for 12 days, after they declared him fit to stand trial. He is being accused of attempted murder following the stabbing of six individuals at a gay pride protest in Jerusalem Friday.
Overnight, a middle-aged orthodox man was detained for a writing a message of support for Shlissel's attack on Facebook, Ma'an news, a Palestinian news agency reported. "Yishai Shlissel, if you decided to stab for the second time... couldn't you have carried out the job a bit more efficiently????? Unfortunately you won't be let out anytime soon, you would have at least been able to kill a few of those damned perverts!!!!!," the Facebook post said.
A vigil is currently being held in Zion Square in Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/AHyknc21g3
— Adam Evenhaim (@adamiisme) July 30, 2015
Shortly after the attack on the parade, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement harshly condemning the violence. "Justice will be dealt to whoever was responsible for this act," he said, the Jerusalem Post reported. "In the state of Israel, an individual's freedom of choice is one of the country's most basic values."
Numerous Orthodox groups, including Israel's two chief rabbis, have also condemned the stabbings. “Judaism and bloodshed do not go together,” Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern said Friday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Israel's police have been criticized for failing to prevent Thursday's attack, despite a heavy police presence at the parade.