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Monday, December 5, 2016

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Eleven Israeli police officers, including the chief of Jerusalem’s police and two district commanders, were disciplined on Sunday over a stabbing spree at the city’s Gay Pride parade by a Jewish zealot who had been flagged as a threat.

Seven of the officers were reassigned and four formally reprimanded in what Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan described as personal sanctions “on an unprecedented scale” given the “grave events which could have been prevented”.

Yishai Schlissel, who has confessed to the stabbings, is an ultra-Orthodox Jew who said in court that he had been doing God’s will by killing a 16-year-old girl and wounding five others participants in the July 30 march, which he described as a religious abomination.

Schlissel had recently been freed from prison, where he had served time for stabbing three people at the 2005 Jerusalem Gay Pride parade.

An Israeli police spokeswoman said in a statement that officers had been instructed to be on the lookout for Schlissel and bar him for this year’s event, but had failed to do so due to negligence or faulty communication.

Some of the officers who were reassigned were also barred from promotion or command positions for periods of between five and seven years, the police statement said.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Photo: Yishai Schlissel is escorted by security personnel at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court July 31, 2015. Schlissel is suspected of stabbing and wounding six participants at a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday.  REUTERS/Muammar Awad