Solemn Pride: Jerusalem's Subdued Parade Amid Tensions

Jerusalem hosted its annual gay pride parade under heavy security, with a somber atmosphere due to ongoing conflict. Approximately 10,000 participants marched carrying signs of support. Despite reduced turnout and subdued celebrations, the event, led by families of hostages and opposition leader Yair Lapid, emphasized the importance of equality and freedom.

Reuters | Jerusalem | Updated: 30-05-2024 23:45 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 23:45 IST
Solemn Pride: Jerusalem's Subdued Parade Amid Tensions
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Jerusalem on Thursday held its annual gay pride parade under heavy security and with a subdued vibe, given the solemn mood in Israel after months of war. LGBTQ+ supporters marched the streets of Jerusalem carrying rainbow flags, Israeli flags and yellow ribbons, a symbol for hostages still held in Gaza. Absent were the vibrant cheers and music that usually accompany the event.

Organizers estimated that 10,000 people marched. Police said some 2,000 officers were on guard. The turnout was smaller than in previous years. Last year's parade in Jerusalem was estimated to have drawn 30,000 people.

Netanel Shaler, executive director at Havruta, an LGBTQ+ group for those with a religious leaning, said the goal was to be sensitive to the overall security situation while still allowing people to march. In a video interview with Israeli news website Ynet, Shaler said he was serving as a military reservist and was on a special leave to participate.

This year's parade adopted the slogan "Born to be Free," and was led in part by the forum of families and supporters of hostages abducted during Hamas' Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel that sparked the war in Gaza. Some protesters appeared on the sidelines holding signs against the parade. There were no unexpected incidents or violence, the organizers said.

Yair Lapid, the opposition leader and former prime minister, took part in the event. "The march is more important this year than ever," he said. "Here we are reminded that we are not only fighting for the life of the state of Israel but also for what kind of country it will be. What its values are. What it believes in."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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