Gunman Kills 2, Injures 15 in Gay Centers

Demonstrations Continue
by Rex Wockner

[Updated 3 Aug, 19:59 PDT] A gunman sprayed bullets at a youth meeting in the basement of one of Tel Aviv’s two gay centers Aug. 1, killing two people and injuring as many as 15, some seriously.

Killed were Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Troubishi, 16. Katz worked with the youth group as a counselor.

The shooter, who escaped, was masked and wearing black clothing.

Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch and others said the attack on the “Cafe Youth” social and support gathering at the clubhouse of the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association appeared to be a hate crime.

Demonstrations were staged in several Israeli cities Sunday in response to the attack, said Yonatan Gher, executive director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. Some 500 people rallied in Jerusalem’s Zion Square and there reportedly were smaller protests in Haifa and Beersheba.

Saturday at 8 p.m. there will be a large demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. The event’s Facebook page showed 589 confirmed attendees as of Monday evening.

Thousands marched the night of the shootings in a spontaneous outpouring of grief (video above).

GLBT public actions also have taken place, or been announced, in Montreal; London; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“We will not step back into the dark closet, we shall not be terrorized,” said openly gay Member of the Knesset Nitzan Horowitz, according to a translation provided by the Israeli Consulate General in New York City. “We will carry on marching in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem and in every other city or town. … Years of incitement from politicians, Rabbis and public officials have materialized into this tragedy. We shall not forgive nor forget them.”

Other statements released by the consulate included:

President Shimon Peres: “This heinous murder of youth and teenagers is an act that a civilized nation cannot tolerate. Murder and hate are two of the most appalling crimes against society. I call the police to do its utmost to catch this vile murderer. I call all the citizens of Israel to denounce this crime.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “… I would like to take this opportunity to remind all Israelis that ours is a democratic state. We are a nation of law. Ours is a country built on tolerance and we must respect all people as they are.”

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai: “We will continue offering the LGBT community our support, as we see Tel Aviv (as) a home where any man or woman can live according to their beliefs.”


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