Moshe Abutbul, the newly re-elected mayor of Beit Shemesh, is being criticized for “thanking God” that his city does not have any gay residents.

According to, Abutbul told Israeli Channel 10 that the Health Ministry and the police are responsible for dealing with the LGBT community.

When the interviewer asked if Beit Shemesh has gay residents, Abutbul answered, “We have no such thing. If you mean what I think you mean, then no. Thank God, this city is holy and pure.”

A complaint was filed against the mayor on Sunday by the Tel Aviv-based Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association.

Shai Doitsh, the group's chairman, said that the mayor's remarks constitute “incitement, urging attacks on and a show of contempt for the LGBT community.”

“There are hundreds of gay men and women in Beit Shemesh,” resident Segev Israel Afriat told Ynetnews, “and it saddens me that he thinks we should be treated by the Health Ministry and the police.”