70,000 rally for LGBT murder victims in Tel Aviv, soldier in custody for making threats

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Rally in Tel AvivOver the weekend 70,000 strong gathered on the streets of Tel Aviv for the victims of a violent attack at an LGBT youth center last week which left two dead and several injured.

President Shimon Peres was among speakers at the meeting on Yitzhak Rabin Square outside the city hall.

“The shots which struck this proud community affected us all as human beings, as Jews and as Israelis. The man who targeted the two victims targeted all of us,” Peres said.

Two people died when a masked, black-clad gunman opened fire on the group of young gays and lesbians at the entrance to the community centre in the heart of Israel’s commercial capital late on Saturday August 1.

“Everyone has the right to be different and proud. No one has the right to interfere in other people’s lives so long as everyone respects law and order,” Peres said.

“I came to share your tears after the death of two young innocents. Be strong and courageous,” he said.

While the perpetrator remains at large, authorities are holding Shmuel Preimark, an Israel soldier who made threats toward those attending the rally.

Shmuel PreimarkThe threats were made shortly before Saturday evening’s rally in Tel Aviv in memory of the victims of a shooting attack on a gay and lesbian youth club in the city one week earlier.

Several hours before the start of the rally, the suspect allegedly posted a message on a gay Web forum, threatening to hurt the rally’s participants.

The soldier is suspected of writing, “Expect more victims among the gays, this time something bigger” and “a second attack on the community soon. Be ready. Don’t say we didn’t know.”

Video from the rally below:

Post by ILO on 08/10/09 at 1:55 pm