A heightened security presence has been reported in Jerusalem for the LGBT Pride Parade set to take place on Thursday, June 6, as approximately 30,000 people are expected to attend the annual march. Marchers will meet in Liberty Bell Park beginning at 15:30 (local time). The parade will start at 17:30 and will end at Independence Park at around 21:00. Jerusalem authorities will deploy 2500 police officers and other security forces for the event, with roads in the area to be closed to traffic from 14:30.
The annual event in the country's most religious and conservative city typically draws protests from far-right and ultra-Orthodox groups. Two counter-demonstrations are planned in Yemin Moshe and at Paris square, notably by the Lehava far-right group. Isolated incidents of violence cannot be ruled out.
The event comes at a time of heightened tensions among the LGBT community. On June 4, signs condemning the LGBTQ community were hung around the city by the Hazon far-right group.
Isolated incidents have occurred during previous similar events; during the 2015 parade a man stabbed and killed a 16-year-old participant.
Individuals in Jerusalem are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, allow additional time to travel, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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