update deskIsrael News

Thousands march in Jerusalem pride parade

Some 2,000 security personnel lined the route.

Thousands take part in the annual Jerusalem gay pride parade, June 2, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Thousands take part in the annual Jerusalem gay pride parade, June 2, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

The Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance Parade took place on Thursday amid heavy security.

Approximately 2,000 Jerusalem District police officers and Border Police officers, including undercover agents, were deployed along the route for the 21st edition of the parade. 

“This is one of the most secure events. There is no other event that has such security in terms of the ratio of police officers deployed in relation to the number of participants. Every five marchers will have the security of one police officer,” a police source told Ynet.

Roadblocks across Israel’s capital city were set up ahead of the parade, with the street closures including Keren Hayesod, Plumer, King George, Hillel and Menashe Ben Israel streets.

Three persons were arrested for incitement ahead of the event, with two of the suspects ordered to stay out of the city temporarily. The parade has seen violence in the past, most notably in 2015 when Yishai Schlissel stabbed marchers—killing 16-year-old Shira Banki and wounding five others.

Schlissel carried out the attack a few weeks after he was released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing and wounding marchers at the 2005 parade. He is currently serving life in prison.

A counter-demonstration was organized by the Jewish group Lehava. It was scheduled for 3 p.m. at Bloomfield Garden, close to the parade’s start point.

Another protest against the parade was to be held in the early evening at Chords Bridge Square, featuring religious leaders and political figures.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said ahead of the march that the police should also protect those protesting against the parade.

“The job of the police is first and foremost to protect the marchers. In addition, the police force has to do all it can to allow the counter-protesters to exercise their freedom of speech and protest,” he said.

“These are fundamental rights in a democracy and must be protected. People must not be turned away or detained solely because of their religious appearance or their intention to demonstrate against the parade,” Ben-Gvir said.

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