Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade to Draw 10,000 Under Heightened Security

Hundreds of police and security guards will safeguard the marchers, two years after teenager Shira Banki was murdered at the parade

Jerusalem's gay pride parade in 2015.
Emil Salman

Some 10,000 people are expected to take part in the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, highlighting the LGBT community’s ties to religion.

Hundreds of police and security guards will safeguard the marchers, two years after teenager Shira Banki was murdered at the Gay Pride Parade in the capital.

Participants will be surrounded at all times by several security circles and everyone joining the parade will be inspected and tagged. Police also said they will use security cameras and balloons for surveillance and supervision of the event. They also summoned rightist activists classified as “under watch” for clarification and warning talks. Police sources said there was no specific warning of plans to disrupt the parade.

The parade will begin with a congregation at Liberty Bell Park at 6 P.M., from where the participants will march along Plumer, Keren Hayesod, King George, Hillel and Menashe Ben Yisrael streets, all in the center of town. The parade will end with a large event at Independence Park. The parade’s host was supposed to be Israeli singer and gay rights activist Amir Fay Guttman, who drowned last week.

Radical rightist activists have asked to hold a protest at the same time as the parade in Bloomfield Park, opposite Liberty Bell Park.