Even representatives of the gay community did not expect such a heavy punishment for the knifeman who stabbed marchers in the Gay Pride Parade, Yishai Schlissel, who received 12 years in prison.
Schlissel was convicted of attempting to murder three people during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, which took place some six months ago.
Three marchers sustained light to moderate wounds in the attack. Schlissel said at the time “I came to murder in the name of God. Such abomination cannot exist in Israel.”
The Jerusalem District Court also ordered that NIS 280 million (about USD 60 million) be paid as compensation to the victims.
"This won't give us back the nights and days we were in hospital with our daughter," said Yafit, the mother of Ligal Trazi, who was stabbed in the march, and who today has a large scar in the place where she was stabbed.
"It also won't make our horror and hysteria disappear – but at least people will know that such a thing will not go over quietly," she added.
Yafit said she would submit a civil lawsuit against Schlissel as well, which she will base on Wednesday's verdict and sentence.
"I will make his life bitter like he made our life bitter, but I must say I am pleasantly surprised by the judges. We didn't expect 12 years," Yafit said.
Upon hearing his sentence, and immediately after judges told him how much time he would serve in prison, Schlissel sat down in protest. Judges called for him to rise three times but he refused.
'Punishment was appropriate'
Schlissel's family and friends called on him to stand but he also refused their request, and his lawyer, Asher Ohayon, said that this was Schlissel's decision, and there was nothing he could do it about it.
"I'm talking to you and therefore you'll stand, you are starting to show contempt of court," Judge Zvi Segal angrily told Schlissel, to no avail.
Judges added to the sentencing "During sentencing the accused showed contempt of court repeatedly and refused to stand when asked to do so."
The Jerusalem District Attorney apparently intends to add an additional charge against Schlissel – showing contempt of court, based on the addition made by the judges.
Ohayon said his client planned on appealing the decision, saying "This is a wrongful verdict; it's hard to ignore from the clear public pressure that was applied without end on the judges within the hall and outside of it, which influenced the judges' decision. For all of our good, its best that this verdict not remain as it is."
Outside the court, members of Open House (gay rights organization) and Meretz party activists demonstrated.
Hagai Elad, head of the Open House, said "The punishment was appropriate, but from my perspective it hasn’t ended, because many of the people who incited him were not on the bench of the accused."
Judges wrote in their verdict "The conclusion is that the accused showed excessive fanaticism… he has no semblance of tolerance in his heart for those who took part in the march… and there is no compromise in his world view. The accused was prepared, out of full awareness, to pay a heavy price for his acts… and was in control his actions."