(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning (Thursday), 6 August 2009, visited the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association Center in Tel Aviv where Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi were murdered last Saturday night (1 August) and where many other young people were injured. The Prime Minister met with leading gay community activists, and with one of the young people who was wounded and his mother. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Education Minister Gideon Saar, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai, Israel Police Commissioner David Cohen and Tel Aviv District Police Commander Shahar Ayalon accompanied the Prime Minister.
 
Following a briefing from Police Commissioner Cohen, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that a tragedy had occurred at the center. He conveyed his condolences to Nir Katz’s parents and his wishes for a rapid recovery to those who were wounded. While the Prime Minister said that all murders were shocking, last Saturday night’s were particularly so. He said that the fact that somebody entered a youth center and perpetrated a serial murder qualified the events as a terrorist attack.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that his visit today expressed an important value and added that stereotyping and denigrating people was evil and unacceptable. He noted that all people were created in the Divine image, had fundamental rights, the first of which is to be treated with respect by others and give the same respect.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected gratuitous hatred and said that all those who had suffered from it, whether individually or in a group, knows how painful and unacceptable it is. He added that it must be uprooted from society as much as possible. The Prime Minister asserted that he thought that Israeli society had made progress towards tolerance and expressed the hope that further progress might yet be made.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged that the gay community has special needs and expressed his desire to promise openness and sensitivity. The Prime Minister assured his hosts that he was open and attentive and said that he and his fellow ministers would advance these important issues.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that he had been briefed last Saturday night by Public Security Minister Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Cohen. The Prime Minister supports them in their actions to apprehend the murderer and bring him to justice. He declared that this needs to be done in order to return security to daily life and added that last Saturday night’s attack was a blow not only to the gay community but to youth throughout Israel and to Israeli society.