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Shooting at Tel Aviv Gay Center Leaves 2 Dead, Nation in Shock


Israel has been rocked by a Saturday night attack at a gay community center in Tel Aviv has left two dead, and at least ten others injured:

Telaviv2 "The gunman, who was dressed in black, unloaded an automatic weapon as he fired on the group of young gay men and lesbians near the entrance of the center, witnesses said, and he then ran away. No one had been arrested by early Sunday. The Tel Aviv police chief, Shahar Ayalon, ordered the closing of a nearby gay bar in the city and urged such establishments to remain vigilant. Leaders of the gay community said they believed that the shooting was a homophobic attack."

The two victims killed at the scene, Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trubeshi, 16, were laid to rest on Sunday

Katz_trubeshi"Katz, 26, who served as a counselor at the center for the past three years, lived with his partner of four years in Givatayim....Liz Trubeshi, 16, the second victim, was also laid to rest Sunday at a cemetery in Holon. Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar joined hundreds of relatives and friends at the service. 'We love you very much. You were always our princess. I can’t say goodbye,' Liz's brother Eitan said in his eulogy. 'Mom woke me up last night (after hearing of the attack), but I told her everything was alright. I never told you how much I love you.'"

The gunman remains at large and a manhunt is underway. Knesset members are calling the attack a hate crime, perhaps Israel's worst anti-gay incident ever.

The AP reports: "Police slapped a gag order on the case, saying publication of details could compromise the investigation. Mike Hamel, a gay rights activist whose organization runs the youth club, said the center served as a safe place where gay teens — many of them still concealing their sexual identity from their families and friends — could meet with counselors and other teenagers. He blamed religious incitement against homosexuals for the attack."

Telaviv3 Hundreds of Israelis turned out to a rally on Sunday in response to the attacks: "The demonstrations throughout the country began Sunday in Tel Aviv near the center...[and] spread to Haifa in the north and Beersheba in the south, as well as to Jerusalem's Zion Square. Police have swarmed the Tel Aviv area in search of the gunman, who was wearing black. They are treating the attack as a hate crime. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack at the start of Sunday morning's weekly Cabinet meeting. 'I strongly condemn the shocking murders that were perpetrated last night in Tel Aviv,' he said. 'This morning I spoke with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.  I fully back the police in their search to find the murderer. We will bring him to justice and treat him with the utmost severity of the law. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all Israelis that ours is a democratic state. We are a nation of law. Ours is a country built on tolerance, and we must respect all people as they are.'"

Video of the streets of Tel Aviv just after the attack and a report on the attacks,

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  1. Andy, thanks for bringing so much of the information out there into one article.

    Posted by: Rhea | Aug 2, 2009 5:35:54 PM

  2. Amazing.

    Such a sad story, but I think we are still going to see more.

    As more and more LGBT communities around the globe push for acceptance, there will different levels of extremists that will push back.

    Hopefully this latest attack will send a message to the world that while keep fighting, we're not using semi-automatic weapons to do it.

    Posted by: Kevin | Aug 2, 2009 5:45:04 PM

  3. That's a very sad story. It's unfortunate that even in areas generally considered safe, acts like these continue. I think Kevin is right and more such events should be expected.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 2, 2009 5:52:58 PM

  4. Pathetic coward.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 2, 2009 6:03:53 PM

  5. I wonder if the people at NOM (that would be you, Maggie) and similar organizations realize they perpetuate these types of tragedies. If they do, I suspect they don't care. Very, very sad.

    Posted by: mikel | Aug 2, 2009 7:52:14 PM

  6. The extremist religious people in our society, especially those like NOM and other anti-gay religious organizations (Pat Robertson, et al) are the cause of this kind of violence against the GLBT community. Members of these organizations spew their hatred on television and in their churches, and the weak-minded grab hold of their hateful words and act on them. I'm a Jew and I'm also against religious Judaism for this same reason. I'm anti-religion, period. Religion has been the catalyst for so much violence, death and destruction in the world, and continues to be the leading cause of pain and anguish (and suicide) for many in the GLBT community.

    Posted by: Avi | Aug 2, 2009 8:39:10 PM

  7. Shooting teenagers to demonstrate your moral superiority. Embracing the far right-ideology that sent your own people to their doom.

    It's so sad, this action beggars belief. The man who did it is a disgrace to humanity.

    Posted by: Elcamino | Aug 2, 2009 8:57:11 PM

  8. More Old Testament Hate in the "Holyland"!

    Posted by: JESUS | Aug 2, 2009 9:20:24 PM

  9. "According to Israeli media, the police were following two main lines of enquiry for the killer’s motives including homophobia as well as a possible act of revenge for a romantic affair gone wrong."

    If it's a ex-lover than it's even more twisted. Why target innocent people at the centre?

    Posted by: Dak | Aug 2, 2009 10:39:18 PM

  10. Elcamino, we have no idea if the shooter was Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze or atheist.

    Posted by: Tim | Aug 2, 2009 10:58:42 PM

  11. CNN has reported this as a "gay club" shooting:

    Is it a dance club that teens just happen to use for meetings? Or is it a youth club/teen center? If the latter, having "gay club" in the headline gives the wrong impression.

    Posted by: C | Aug 2, 2009 11:01:14 PM

  12. C:

    It's a community/youth center, not a dance club.

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 3, 2009 12:53:25 AM

  13. Bottom line C It was an attack against Gay and Lesbian Youths.

    And it's sad we now are really realizing that HOMOPHOBIA is a universal hatred against us!

    Posted by: The One | Aug 3, 2009 12:53:47 AM

  14. C:

    It's a community center type place...not a dance club. Every reference that I found to it in the US media EXCEPT the LA Times referred to it as a 'gay club'...I think that they were just trying to sensationalise what happened.

    Posted by: Rhea | Aug 3, 2009 2:06:01 AM

  15. I'm glad to see Israelis are properly outraged. But I wouldn't have expected any less from them. But let's also be careful about assigning blame here until we know the full story. Don't forget how the vandalizing of that Long Island Gay Youth center turned out to be disgruntled former members.

    Posted by: JT | Aug 3, 2009 2:26:49 AM

  16. BTW : What is going on with the Driton Nicaj series of queer-bashings in NYC? Why was the story dropped so suddenly?

    Posted by: JT | Aug 3, 2009 2:30:56 AM

  17. While I appreciate and support the planned vigils for the three people killed in Tel Aviv, how come our domestic GLBT community didn't hold vigils for seaman August Provost when he was killed at Camp Pendleton?

    Posted by: Scott | Aug 3, 2009 9:20:26 PM

  18. What is going on with Driton Nicaj? The justice system moves SLOWLY.....real life isn't like NCIS or Law&Order, where everything is tied up in roughly 45 minutes. There's little to report until and if a trial of guilty plea occurs. Right now either he's out on bail or sitting in lock up awaiting his fate.

    Posted by: JohninBoston | Aug 4, 2009 12:26:18 AM

  19. Yes, JohninBoston, I know television is television. But were there any more arrests re. Driton Nicaj? He was only one of a whole group of bashers right in Manhattan. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for such basic info.

    Posted by: JT | Aug 4, 2009 11:58:42 AM

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