Annual Gay Pride Parade Draws Thousands in Jerusalem

Housing activists join forces with gay rights activists; police arrest Hassidic man trying to throw stink bombs at marchers.

Thousands of people marched in the Jerusalem gay pride parade Thursday, joining forces with housing activists carrying tents. Police arrested a Hassidic man trying to throw stink bombs at the marchers.

Dozens of right-wing extremists who brought four donkeys with them gathered at Biyaney Ha-uma conference center.

Gay pride - Olivier Fitoussi - July 28, 2011
Participants of the gay pride parade in Jerusalem, July 28, 2011Olivier Fitoussi

In previous years, the parade has raised tensions and even led to violence in Jerusalem. In 2005 a Hassidic man wielding a knife attacked marchers and injured one of them. Police said Thursday that "any attempt to disturb public peace will be dealt with resilience and determination."

Organizers of the Jerusalem march say it differs from the more celebratory gay pride events in Tel Aviv, in that it highlights gay rights and human rights in general. The date chosen for the parade is also significant, as it marks two years since a deadly shooting at a Tel Aviv gay center which killed two people and injured many.