Ultra-Orthodox man stabs six at Jerusalem gay parade | News | DW | 30.07.2015
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Ultra-Orthodox man stabs six at Jerusalem gay parade

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish assailant has stabbed at least six people participating in Jerusalem's gay-pride parade. The attack is not the first of its kind at the LGBT community's annual celebration.

Despite a heavy security presence, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man on Thursday managed to stab six people during Jerusalem's annual gay march.

"I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in his way," witness Shai Aviyor told Israel's Channel 2 television.

"We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground," Aviyor said.

The man was reportedly arrested by police following the incident.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said the attack happened in the evening.

Israel's emergency services confirmed six young people were wounded in the attack, with two of them in critical condition.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter that the perpretator would be prosecuted.

"This is a most serious incident. We will prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law. Freedom of individual chose is a basic value in Israel," Netanyahu said.

Jerusalem's gay-pride parade was expected to draw thousands, though notably smaller than its Tel Aviv counterpart, which witnessed around 180,000 participants in June.

The attack was not the first of its kind in the city, which Israel regards as its capital.

In 2005, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stabbed three participants at the event in Jerusalem.

A year after, Israeli politican and ultra-Orthodox Jew Baruch Marzel called for "holy war" against the gay parade, according to Israeli news site Ynet.

The 2006 parade was eventually cancelled, though several days of riots ensued in November as ultra-Orthodox protesters burned trash cans and clashed with police.

ls/sgb (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)