Police, marchers, brace for gay parade confrontations

Monday, October 30, 2006 |  by Staff Writer  

Jerusalem police have expressed their concerns over the upcoming Gay Pride Parade which will take place in Jerusalem next Friday, especially after voices from inside the ultra-orthodox community say they will present a counter-march in protest and do not promise to stay non-violent throughout the parade.

Most recently, Jerusalem District Police Chief Major General Ilan Franco met with top officials from the Haredi sector in Jerusalem in order to gauge their response to the Gay Parade, and was not greeted with any calming news as to their intentions.

Sources close to Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss, the top Haredi official who met with Franco, said that during the meeting the Rabbi could not promise that the religious crowd will stay quiet and not cause any acts of violence.

As a countermeasure to the Gay Parade, the Haredi sector is planning a march which will be designed to disrupt the gay marchers. Sources inside the Haredi sector also said they will use people who do not look like Haredim to infiltrate the march in order to disrupt the parade from the inside.

The same source added that the police could also be targeted adding that "every cop seen along the way should be beaten. After all, the police will try and stop us…so we should be prepared and bring sticks to hit them."

The Haredi counter-march is supported by the United Torah Judaism, the alliance of two ultra-orthodox political parties in the Knesset. An expected 250,000 people are expected to join the demonstration and plan to march from the Western Wall to the center of town where a majority of spectators and marchers will pass through. Organizers, who plan on doing everything possible to stop the parade including blocking roads, have recruited settler youths and even Arabs to join the demonstration.

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