Under tight security, the annual Israel Day Parade took place in New York City on Sunday, with everyone from the Israeli scouts to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, attending.
The event, which passed by Trump Tower as it made its way down Fifth Avenue, also drew pro-Palestinian counterprotesters and anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox demonstators.
The event was held in honor of Israel's 70th anniversary and saw scores waving Israeli flags as they marched through central Manhattan.
More than 1,000 police officers secured the Israel Day Parade, JTA reported. No specific threats have been made against the parade, which celebrates Israel’s statehood.
The police officers stationed along the route included counterterror teams armed with assault rifles, the New York Daily News reported.
The personnel also included radiation-detection teams, sharpshooters and bomb squads, the New York Post reported, citing NYPD counterterrorism chief John Miller.
Garbage trucks filled with sand blocked streets, to prevent car-ramming attacks.
Miller also told reporters that the stepped-up security is due to current world events, including dozens of terror attacks in Israel and the Middle East over the last year.
Israel’s consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, and Culture Minister Miri Regev participated in the parade.
Later on Sunday, Times Square was lit blue and white as a four-minute video promoting Israel innovation and celebrating its relationship with Israel was broadcast on screens throughout the site.
JTA contributed background to this report