During a ceremony held Tuesday to mark three years since the deadly shooting spree at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv, a new center that will assist victims of anti-gay violence was dedicated.
In the 2009 attack, Nir Katz (26) and Liz Trobishi (16) were killed, and 10 others were injured. The killer has not been caught.
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"Three years have passed since that dreadful day and the wounds have yet to heal," said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin at the ceremony. "They cannot heal, Mr. Tel Aviv District Police commander, as long as the killer is on the loose. Living freely is a basic democratic right. It is our duty to act against those who threaten that right, as in the horror that took place in the Bar-Noar".
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin: Living freely is a basic democratic right
Tel Aviv District Police Commander Aharon Aksol clarified that "Israeli police forces will do everything in their power to bring the killer to justice."
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) expressed confidence that the police will find the killer. "The public and the media are certain that all our problems are over, but underneath it all, LGBTs still face hatred and hostility," he said. "Nonetheless, I choose to remain optimistic; the fact that representatives from State authorities have attended this event is unprecedented. We've made some progress."
Ayala Katz, Nir Katz's mother told Ynet, "Whether you like them (gays) or not, violence must not take place. I try not to think about the killer too much; I trust the Tel Aviv police."
The new center for LGBT will run a hotline service for victims of anti-gay violence in hopes of coping more efficiently with hate crimes against the LGBT community.
Shay Deutsch, chairman of the Israeli LGBT Association said that "members of the association tended to those who were injured in the shooting without assistance from the government."
Deutch said he believes the new center can help document all incidents of anti-LGBT violence, whether verbal or physical, so that the victims can receive social and legal aid.
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