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2 Killed, 15 Wounded In Tel Aviv LGBT Teen Center Shooting Spree

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2009

Update: The Jerusalem Post has updated its report to indicate that two were killed and fifteen wounded, and not three killed and fourteen wounded as they reported earlier.

Rescue personnel treating a victim of the shooting at a gay club in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. (Haaretz

Rescue personnel treating a victim of the shooting at a gay club in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. (Haaretz)

The Jerusalem Post has the developing news:

Three people were killed and 14 people were wounded – two seriously, three moderately and the rest lightly – in a shooting at the Bar Noir, a center for youth run by the Tel Aviv gay community, on Saturday night.

According to eyewitnesses, an unidentified assailant dressed in black opened fire from an automatic weapon inside the building, located at the corner of Nahmani and Ahad Ha’am streets, at approximately 10:40 p.m.

Israeli paramedics treat shooting victims. (Reuters / Amir Meiri)

Israeli paramedics treat shooting victims. (Reuters / Amir Meiri)

Ha’aretz reports:

Witnesses told Israeli television that the black-clad, masked gunman stormed into the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building and opened fire in a basement room where gay teenagers were holding a weekly support group. Most of the casualties were minors, a police spokesman said, adding that the assailant was believed to have used an automatic weapon such as an M-16 rifle.

Israeli police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting attack at a gay community house in Tel Aviv (AFP)

Israeli police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting attack at a gay community house in Tel Aviv (AFP)

An earlier Ha’aretz report says that the teen meeting typically draws 30 participants. That report continued:

Itzik Dror, a spokesman for the gay and lesbian community, said he was “shocked and shaken” by the event. Another community leader said that all activities for gay and lesbian groups had been suspended. “We thought we were living in a modern country where hate is not the standard,” he said.

Gay and lesbian organizations said they will hold an emergency meeting early today to develop policy on community events following the incident.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who is also a gay rights activist, said after arriving at the shooting scene: “This is the most severe event to have hit the gay and lesbian community in the history of the State of Israel. I hope the shooter is caught. I do not want to come out with a statement, but this is a shocking thing.”

There were signs that this was a hate crime, he said.

Police have closed all gay bars in the area as a precaution.

Britain’s ITN has this coverage:

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Police say there were no prior threats directed toward the community center, although the center has experienced anti-gay grafitti including swastikas painted at its entrance.  Ynet reports:

One eyewitness to the shooting said, “The place looked like a slaughterhouse.” Another witness said the shooter had worn a mask. Civilians were warned to stay away from the area.

Eyal Amit, a member of the GLBT organization, told Ynet that many of the teens who met at the clubhouse had not yet informed their loved ones of their sexual orientation. “It’s a very sensitive situation. What we know is that in order to get here one must come here especially. This was not some random shooting,” he said.

Comments

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Michael
August 1st, 2009 | LINK

Tears in my eyes. Horrible news. I hope the gunman rots in hell.

I hope all the people that witnessed the attack get the support they need to get through this.

----
August 1st, 2009 | LINK

Fundamentalists of the three big monotheistic religions will say the shooter was sent by God to cleanse the Holy Land from sodomites.

TomChicago
August 1st, 2009 | LINK

I am curious about how blogs could have this item featured long before CNN. In fact, it was at least 1/2 hour after I read this item on Twitter, and at that point, there was still no mention of it anywhere on CNN.

Michael
August 1st, 2009 | LINK

TomChicago the mainstream news often chooses to ignore LGBT news, and when they do report it is rarely accurate.

Aaron
August 1st, 2009 | LINK

Dear Father,

Please be upon the friends and families of those who died. May your Spirit wrap them in warm embrace and let them know that you are with them in their grief. May the souls of those who died be showered by your grace and ushered into eternal peace. And finally may the gunman be arrested and justice swiftly done. May your Spirit convict his soul that he may know the damage he has caused and the sins that he has committed. May he repent.

So be it.

William
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Last night I was at evening Mass in my home town. The priest began his sermon by talking about the “culture of death” and his disapproval of euthanasia. How did he get from that to an attack on gays and lesbians? I don’t know, but somehow he did. He ranted about the introduction of civil partnerships for gays and lesbians in the UK and the adoption of children by gays and lesbians, and said that God had shown his attitude to “active homosexuality” once and for all by his destruction of those “wicked people” of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We see from the events in Tel Aviv exactly where that kind of thinking leads. Poor kids! May they rest in peace.

Burr
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Ah another priest mindlessly spewing that ridiculous S&G canard, probably without really reading or contemplating it himself. Good grief.

Aaron
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

“once and for all by his destruction of those “wicked people” of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

I take it then that he hasn’t actually read that passage…

Regan DuCasse
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

This is why, when I’m talking to the anti gay and they go on and on and ON about how destructive being gay is.

I point to that, even if gay and lesbian CHILDREN are set upon violently, the gay community responds with vigils, legal protests, due process of law and compassion.

Nobody gay has been known to go into a church or temple and shoot it up or bomb them with people inside. However much religious communities incite hatred, fear and distrust of gay people, gay people do NOT respond with the kind of assault that could visit THEM anytime, anywhere…and does.

So, in just WHAT WAY are those who are anti gay so PERSECUTED or at risk by gay people? How can they say with a straight face that they WILL be SO persecuted in the world by gay people and their supporters?

Someone tell me again how meeting together to give love, support, companionship and education to gay youth, can incite SUCH paranoia…that violence isn’t even anecdotal, but symptomatic of a more obvious conspiracy?

Were it not for the DAILY and often unreported tragedies…the persecution and superiority complex of the dominant hetero culture would be laughable in the extreme.

Stefano A
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Were it not for the DAILY and often unreported tragedies . . . the persecution . . . complex of the dominant hetero culture would be laughable in the extreme.

Indeed!

Alex
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Does anyone know if conservative anti-gay news sites/blogs have commented on this tragedy?

“BREAKING: Gunman Kills Two At Tel Aviv LGBT Youth Center” and related posts « Howz My Host
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

[...] 3 Killed, 12 Wounded In Tel Aviv LGBT Teen Center Shooting Spree - Box Turtle Bulletin [...]

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