5,000 participants are expected to take to streets of Jerusalem to celebrate the annual gay pride parade.
This year’s march takes place in a show of solidarity between Israel’s movement for LGBT rights and the wider social struggles currently sweeping the nation, principally the housing protests.
Violence at the Jerusalem Gay Pride reached its apex in 2005, when an ultra-Orthodox man attacked some of the marchers with a knife, wounding one of them.
In the past four years, in the wake of a decision by rabbis of the ultra-Orthodox community to ignore the march, Jerusalem Gay Pride has taken place without incident.
Jerusalem – More than 1,000 Israeli police were deployed in Jerusalem on Thursday to protect an expected 5,000 participants in the city’s annual Gay Parade.
The parade was scheduled to start at 4 pm (1300 GMT) in West Jerusalem’s Independence Garden and to end in the Rose Garden, opposite the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said the hundreds of officers also included border police units and police volunteers.
‘We protect the marchers and are here to make sure that there won’t be any unusual incidents along the route,’ he told the German Press-Agency dpa.