The turnout for Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade on Thursday was more than three times the expected number, with at least 14,000 people marching.
Officials had expected some 4,000 participants, according to The Times of Israel. Heavy security surrounded the parade, which in 2015 was the scene of a stabbing attack by a Charedi man that killed a 16-year-old girl, Shira Banki.
She was murdered and five other marchers were stabbed, in a gruesome attack that Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel is now serving a life sentence for.
One thousand police officers and soldiers were deployed to secure the route,
Britain’s Ambassador to Israel, who is himself gay, took to twitter to say say he is “proud to be with fantastic young people from Open House as we get ready to march in Jerusalem Pride”.
Proud to be with fantastic young people from Open House as we get ready to march in Jerusalem Pride pic.twitter.com/3nt46a70lY
— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) August 3, 2017
Participants were only permitted to enter the parade from the designated start of the route and leave from the designated exit.
Before the march took place, a 33-year-old man from central Israel who threatened the march was detained, following posts on social media.
Israel Police said the unidentified man made threats on Thursday on his Facebook page before the start of the parade. He was questioned and released by an Israeli court that ruled he cannot enter Jerusalem until Friday, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.
People participate in the annual Gay Pride parade in central Jerusalem, under heavy security on August 3, 2017. Photo by: JINIPIX
— Israel🇮🇱 in UK🇬🇧 (@IsraelinUK) August 3, 2017
Tens of thousands of people are dancing and singing at Jerusalem Pride. 🇮🇱🏳️🌈 https://t.co/7YQdGWTIDo
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) August 3, 2017
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 3, 2017