Jerusalem pride parade, 2 August 2018..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Some 2,500 police officers will secure Thursday’s Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance parade, according to superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, the Israel Police national spokesman to foreign media.
Anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 people are expected to attend the event, which has been taking place for the last 15 years.
Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post
that police have been working over the last few weeks making security arrangements for this year’s 1.5 km. parade, which begins at Liberty Bell Park and ends at Independence Park where a festival will be held.
Throughout the march route, police officers, Border Police, special patrol units and undercover agents will be positioned every 10 to 20 meters, he said. Police helicopters and drones will also secure the route, he added.
“The police have already warned specific individuals to stay away from the area,” Rosenfeld said, noting that while they have not received notification about any specific threats, they want to prevent any potential disruptions.
Rosenfeld confirmed all warnings were related to individuals from the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community.
Counter-protests against the parade will take place near Yemin Moshe (opposite the entrance to Liberty Bell Park) and at Paris Square. About 300 people are expected to join in those protests, which will be monitored by police units.
In an additional security measure being taken this year, Rosenfeld said police will be allowed to demand identification as they profile the crowd.
Roads in the area will be closed to drivers, from the start of the parade at 2:30 p.m. until evening. Residents with proper ID will be able to enter the area.
Rosenfeld said that security around the parade has been increased since 2015, when Shira Banki, 16, was murdered by an ultra-Orthodox protester who went on a stabbing rampage. Five other people were wounded in that attack.
Earlier this week, signs condemning the LGBTQ community were hung around the city, but police removed the signs the next day in coordination with the municipality.
“The parade is a sensitive issue, given the different sectors and different communities in Jerusalem,” Rosenfeld said.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>