Gay pride march in Ashdod.
Gay pride march in Ashdod. Photo by Ilan Assayag
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Hundreds of Israelis took to the streets on Friday to take part in the first ever official gay pride march in Ashdod in southern Israel.  

More than 600 people marched together in the port city, which has a large religious population. 2000 people had been expected to march in the pride parade in Israel’s fifth-largest city.  

At the same time, some 500 people took part in the annual gay pride march in the northern city of Haifa. 

Earlier in June, over 100,000 people took part in Tel Aviv's yearly gay pride event, which in recent years has become a well-known event throughout the world, attracting hundreds of tourists. Jerusalem also holds an annual gay pride event.