Video: Thousands participate in the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem (Photo: Yotam Ronen)
Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, which will be held under heavy police protection. According to the police, about 2,000 Jerusalem District police officers and Border Police fighters, both overt and covert, assisted by reinforcements and volunteers, under the command of Jerusalem District Commander Major General Doron Turgeman, will operate along the route of the march, in the gathering areas and in the streets adjacent to the parade routes, to maintain the safety of the participants, maintain public order and direct traffic.
Deputy Superintendent Assaf Duek, an operations division officer at the Moriah police station in the city, said that "we will allow freedom of expression without disturbing public order." In an interview with 103, the officer said that "any party that tries or wants to come and disrupt the parade, we will prevent it."
Last year's Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem (Photo: Flash 90, Jonathan Zindel)
The marchers will gather at the Bell Garden starting at 15:00, and at 17:00 they will start walking along the route from the Bell Garden, through King David, Palomar, Keren Hayesod, King-George, Hillel, Menashe Ben-Israel streets. At the end of the event, the marchers will gather at Independence Park.
The police clarified that entry to the parade route will be possible only through the gathering area in the Bell Park, Paris Square, King David Street (near Plumer Square) and Histadrut/Shammai Street, where police officers and security guards will conduct security checks as needed. In addition, departure from the parade route will be possible only from these places.
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The route of the Pride and Tolerance Parade in Jerusalem (Photo: Israel Police Spokesperson's Office)
The entrance to the demonstration site (Photo: Israel Police Spokesperson's Office)
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Starting at 14:00, the following streets will be closed to traffic: Keren Hayesod, Palomar, King George, Hillel, Menashe Ben Israel. In addition, the streets leading to them will be closed to traffic: Agron, Elhanan, Shalom Aleichem, Mapu, Ahad Ha'am, Gaza (from Arlozorov to Paris Square), Shmuel Hanagid, Avida, KKL-JNF, the Histadrut, King David from Palomar Junction (will remain open from the customs junction to neighborhood residents and from there left to Kariv), David Marcus, Jabotinsky to King David, Yitzhak Kariv, David Remez, Emil Butte and Eliyahu Shema (exit to Yitzhak Kariv will be allowed).
The traffic arteries that will be closed will open gradually as the parade progresses. Among the routes that will remain open: Hebron Road, the Jerusalem Brigade, the IDF Tunnel, Haim Bar Lev - in both directions.
The police added that access to the protest site in Bloomfield Park would only be possible through the Begin Heritage Center, which has been defined as a "gathering point." Arrival at the conference area will be made from the direction of Hebron Road towards the Cinematheque Bridge, from where the participants will leave via Navon Street towards Bloomfield Park via the painter Jacob Steinderhat Street.
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