3 Dead, 12 Wounded at Israeli Gay Youth Center Shooting

Nod to Brad Friedman for this.

From Reuters, via the NYTimes:

Israel’s gay community was rocked on Sunday by the killing of two people in a homosexual and lesbian youth center and the possibility they fell victim to a hate crime in the Jewish state’s most freewheeling city.

“The biggest shock is to think that it happened in Tel Aviv, which is the most tolerant city in the country,” said Avi Sofer, a gay rights activist.

Witnesses said a masked gunman clad in black opened fire on Saturday night in a basement club belonging to the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association, which was hosting a weekly event for teenage gays.

The attacker killed a 26-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl and wounded 13 people before fleeing, hospital officials said.

“He simply fired all over the place,” Or Gil, 16, told the YNet news website. “At first I thought it was prank, or a toy gun. After the killings, it was quiet, completely silent and then people came to help the wounded.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu condemned the attack, telling his cabinet: “We are a tolerant, democratic country governed by the rule of law and we must respect each and every person.”

I found this quite interesting:

Despite anti-gay sentiments among some religious Jews in Israel, gays serve openly in the military. Israel accords same-sex couples a measure of legal recognition and cohabitation rights, though Orthodox religious authorities control formal nuptials in the country.

The whole episode is quite sad.