Jerusalem was painted in all the colors of the rainbow on Thursday to mark the city’s annual gay pride parade. Hundreds of participants swarmed the streets of the capital, holding signs marking the 10th anniversary of the parade.
Hundreds of police officers and Border Guard officers are securing the crowds.
Jerusalem Open House Executive Director Elionr Sidi said that the march “was an opportunity to reflect on all the changes that Jerusalem has undergone in the past decade.
“We no longer see incidents like in 2005 and 2006 of incitement, stabbing and riots against the participants. Despite these changes, there is still a lot to be done for the members of the proud community,” she added.
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The parade has been free of violence in recent years, and ultra-Orthodox communities have apparently decided to turn a blind eye to the parade, rather than stir up trouble over it, and so police allowed the organizers to revert to the original route this year.
The parade began at Independence Park, where participants commemorated three years to the Barnoar shooting. The parade then moved through the city center, ending at Liberty Bell Park. Hundreds of police officers were dispatched to secure the event.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, several youths were seen spray-painting the “Welcome to Jerusalem” sign at the entrance to the city in the rainbow colors of the Gay Pride flag. People entering the city had a glimpse of the sign’s new look for a few hours until municipal employees eventually cleaned off the graffiti. Police officials said they were taking the incident seriously and were looking for the perpetrators.
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