Two weeks after the stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade which fatally wounded 16 year-old Shira Banki, the Israel Police will publish a report on the police failures which led to the attack Sunday – and four of the people the attacker wounded want answers.
Stabber and repeat offender Yishai Shlissel injured Yarden Noy, Yael Belkin, Noam Eyal and Sagiv S. in the stabbing spree earlier this month, after having been released from prison weeks before for a near-identical attack on the Parade in 2005.
The four published a strong statement ahead of the police report on Saturday night, revealing to Channel 2 that they consider the stabbing a "police failure."
The four have not received a shred of information about the ongoing investigation, they said in the statement, nor were they approached by police – and thus, they decided to go public.
"We expect the investigation to be thorough, to examine all the information held by the police on the eve of the murder, [as well as] the gap between this information and the lack of action which followed, and the causes for this gap," they stated, asking whether anyone in the police force noted Shlissel's stated intents to attack again.
The four victims further demanded they be notified of the conclusions before the general public.
"When conclusions are drawn and those responsible for the attack are revealed, we expect them to bear personal responsibility for the failure," they warned. "In addition, we expect both them personally and from the Israel Police [generally] – as the body responsible for our safety – to apologize to the victims of this incident and to tens of thousands of the members of society and the gay community which suffered from this attack, which killed Shira of blessed memory, but was intended for every single one of us."
Who is responsible?
Shlissel's very presence at the event has been increasingly revealed to be due to a series of major failures by the Israel Police and Israel Prison Services.
Shlissel had, in fact, experienced a psychotic episode in 2009 and undergone extensive treatment in a special facility, and was being forced to take medication since. It is unclear whether this was ever mentioned to investigators.
Even before the parade, Shlissel was labelled by intelligence as a "danger to the event." However, he was never summoned to report to police before or during the march and was never questioned before the fact regarding his intentions.
A top commander, who is not yet named by the press, testified last week that he told top officers to follow Shlissel closely before and during the event, and that the stabber was singled out for scrutiny due to his recent release from prison.
Photos of Shlissel were allegedly given to security officers guarding the event to allow them to scan for his presence in the crowd, but this still did not prevent the attack.