200,000 Israelis, Tourists Take Part in Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade

The annual march took off following a minute of silence in memory of victims of violence perpetrated against the LGBTQ community.

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Participants in the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, June 3, 2016.
Participants in the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, June 3, 2016.Credit: Moti Milrod

Tel Aviv's 18th annual Gay Pride Parade took off on Friday morning with some 200,000 participants, according to municipality estimates.

At 10:00 A.M., a few thousand people gathered at the Gan Meir park for a moment of silence in memory of the victims of violence perpetrated against the LGBTQ community.

At 12:00 P.M, thousands began to march along Bogroshov Street toward the seaside promenade. The events came to a close at 5:00 P.M. with an array of musical performances at Charles Clore Park near the sea.

A few main routes will be shut to traffic throughout the day.

The parade focused this year on empowering women in the LGBTQ community, and its motto was "Women for a change."

A minute of silence in memory of victims of violence perpetrated against the LGBTQ community.Credit: Moti Milrod

After receiving threats to harm him during the parade, the Knesset's first openly gay lawmaker, Likud MK Amir Ohana, got a security detail.

Tens of thousands of tourists were expected to arrive in Israel for the event.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said on Friday that "We're slowly walking toward a more equal, more respectful society that allows all human beings to express themselves as they see fit."

"I want to congratulate and promise that the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa will continue to be a democratic, tolerant, pluralistic and open city that respects everyone who lives in it."

A man waves a flag as the Gay Pride Parade passes in the streets of Tel Aviv on June 3, 2016.Credit: Moti Milrod
A woman carrying a child on her shoulder waves a rainbow flag during the opening event of the annual Gay Pride parade in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on June 3, 2016.Credit: Jack Guez / AFP
A drag queen and gogo dancers attend the annual Gay Pride parade in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on June 3, 2016.Credit: Jack Guetz / AFP
A woman holds a placard as she takes part in a gay pride parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 3, 2016. Credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters
An Israeli soldier watches as revellers take part in a gay pride parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 3, 2016.Credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters
People participate the annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, June 3, 2016. Credit: Oded Balilty / AP

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