Police verdict on Gay Parade expected Sunday

Sunday, November 05, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
After a week of violent protests from the ultra-orthodox in the streets of Jerusalem against the Gay Pride Parade scheduled for next Friday, Police are due to decide later today whether to allow the march to take place.

Police sources say that the decision whether or not to allow the march will have to be based on a balance between the democratic right of free speech and assembly, and the sanctity of life, referring to the danger of potential violent attacks by haredis during the march. Israel’s Chief of Police Lt. General Moshe Karadi said that the decision is one of the most difficult decisions" they have had to make.

Jerusalem District commander Maj. General Ilan Franco said: "The question is not whether the police have the means because we do have that. But there is difficult intelligence. The questions we need to ask pertain to people's lives, and there are intelligence tips according to which there is danger to human life if the parade is held.”

These words were said after a week of riots by haredi crowds in the streets of Jerusalem who shut down roads, damaged vehicles, set fires to garbage bins, uprooted traffic signals, and assaulted police officers, including one who was hospitalized after a burning agent was allegedly spilled on his face by a haredi rioter.

During the riots, haredis were heard yelling slogans such as “the Nazis are coming” referring to police officers approaching to control the riots. In addition, an announcement was posted in one of the haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem claiming Jerusalem police chief Franco is a grandson of a Nazi SS officer and ordering him to go back to Nazi Germany.

During last year’s parade in Jerusalem three marchers were wounded after a haredi man infiltrated the parade and stabbed them. The man, Ishai Schlissel, was arrested after the incident and sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempted murder.

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