JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — (06-05-19) — Jerusalem District Police increase security by adding 2,500 police officers for Thursday’s PRIDE parade following the leader of far right-wing group Lehava, saying on Tuesday that his organization plans to disrupt Thursday’s Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance Parade in order to fight what he calls “LGBT terrorism.”

Bentzi Gopstein said his Lehava organization secured a police permit to stage a protest near the annual parade on Thursday and would use loudspeakers to disrupt the marchers who “are bringing disaster to Israel.”

“The purpose of the march is to dissolve the values ​​of the Jewish family and to turn Jerusalem and all of Israel into Sodom,” Gopstein said in a statement.

Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld said that there will be over 2,500 police officers on hand to secure the PRIDE and tolerance parade. The 15th annual PRIDE and Tolerance parade is expected to see 15,000 to 30,000 in attendance.

Rosenfeld told media outlets that his department has been working over the last several weeks making security security arrangements for the 1.5 km. parade, which begins at Liberty Bell Park and ends at Independence Park where a festival will be held, is free of any problems.

The PRIDE and tolerance parade route will have police officers, Border Police, special patrol units and undercover officers positioned every 10 to 20 meters, according to Rosenfeld.

To top it off, police helicopters and Jerusalem district police drones will also be utilized to monitor and secure the parade route.

“The police have already warned specific individuals who are known to cause problems for the LGBT community and who have threatened to cause disruption at the parade, to stay away from the area” said Rosenfeld.

Jerusalem PRIDE and Tolerance Parade See Increase in Security following threats from far ring-wing group Lehava

Superintendent Rosenfeld also confirmed that members of the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community have been given warnings not to cause trouble or face serious consequences.

Counter-protests are expected and have already been given a designated area That location is near Yemin Moshe which is opposite the entrance to Liberty Bell Park. They will also protest at Paris Square near the festival.

Police are expecting between 100 to 300 protesters which is down from last year. Rosenfeld added that the murder of Shira Banki, 16, by an ultra-Orthodox protester who went on a stabbing rampage stabbing five other people in 2015, is the reason why extra securities measures have increased over the last few years.

Anti-LGBT activist hung signs around the city condemning the LGBTQ community but were taken down the next day by police in coordination with the municipality.

“The parade is a sensitive issue, given the different sectors and different communities in Jerusalem,” said Rosenfeld

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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