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More than 5,000 people took part in Israel's first march for human rights Friday in Tel Aviv.

Marchers represented more than 100 groups, including those devoted to protecting the rights of workers, women, Israeli Arabs, refugees and asylum-seekers, the disabled, homosexuals and lesbians, and Palestinians in the territories.

Representatives of environmental advocacy organizations also attended.

MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Nitzan Horowitz (New Movement-Meretz) were at the march, which started at Rabin Square and ended in the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Writer Sami Michael, president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, presented the Emil Greenzweig Human Rights Award to Ruth and Paul Kedar, founders of the human rights organization Yesh Din, and posthumously to Nir Katz, the youth group leader killed in the shooting attack in early August on the gay youth club in Tel Aviv.

Looking for love

Katz's mother, Ila, who accepted the award in his name, told the rally: "Today we see the people who do not seek headlines but actions. Who are looking for the love among humans, who are looking for compassion. That is the message of Nir's life."

Sami Michael told the marchers: "We will not throw stones, either on weekdays or on religioua holidays. But we will do everything to stop with our bodies, with our words, those who seek to harm the liberty and the rights of those who are different."