Friday for secretly planning a parade in violation of an earlier
decision agreed upon by police and parade organizers to hold a rally at
Hebrew University in response to the high security alert announced
after the massacre in Beit Hannoun.
Gay activists claimed the police used excessive force against them as they made their way to the stadium. According to one activist, the police used "outrageous violence" against them, referring to several activists who were beaten up.
In addition to the security alert, threats from the ultra religious in the city, who oppose the premise of the parade, have led the security establishment in Jerusalem to deploy 3,000 police officers to secure the area. Streets were also closed down. Earlier, police arrested five religious men caught with clubs, knives and a pistol on their person.
Meanwhile, some 2,000 supporters of the gay community gathered in the main stadium at Hebrew University. Initially, the activists planned a parade, but decided on an alternative venue upon the suggestion of security officials sensitive to the security alerts and to avoid provoking anti-gay protesters, particularly the ultra-Orthodox community.
The extreme tension between Jerusalem’s gay community and the ultra-religious communities prompted ultra-Orthodox leaders to meet with heads of security in Jerusalem Thursday to address Friday’s gay pride parade. The leaders insisted that the rally be held in a contained space and that participators did not display any pro-gay symbols in public. They also asked that anti-gay protestors who have been arrested during the days leading up to the parade, be released. Security officials have not yet made a decision regarding this matter.
The Vatican was disappointed in the city’s decision to allow the parade to proceed even within closed doors. "The Holy See has reiterated on many occasions that the right to freedom of expression… is subject to just limits, in particular when the exercise of this right would offend the religious sentiments of believers," the Vatican said.
"It is clear that the gay parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem will prove offensive to the great majority of Jews, Muslims and Christians, given the sacred character of the city of Jerusalem," it said.
Sourced from Haaretz