Ultra-orthodox Jew stabs 6 at Jerusalem gay parade

2015-07-30 18:36
(David Buimovitch, AFP)

(David Buimovitch, AFP)

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Tel Aviv - Six marchers were injured Thursday by an ultra-Orthodox Jew who managed breach a massive security presence and storm into Jerusalem's gay parade, police said.

Two are in serious condition. One is moderately injured and three lightly, spokesperson Asi Aharoni said.

"To our regret the man [stabber] succeeded for a small moment to break into the crowd," he said.

The suspect was overpowered and caught. Police would not immediately confirm reports that he was the same ultra-Orthodox Jew who stabbed bystanders at Jerusalem's 2005 parade and, after having served 10 years in prison, was released only three weeks ago.

A couple of thousand people marched in the religious city's parade, a markedly more modest event compared to its Tel Aviv counterpart.

While about 180 000 marched in June in largely secular Tel Aviv in the biggest gay parade in the Middle East, in largely religious Jerusalem up to 5 000 were expected.

Tel Aviv is seen as a bubble of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tolerance in an otherwise unaccepting region and has become a major gay tourist destination, but in Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox groups oppose what they call the "abomination parade".

The security breach happened despite the deployment of hundreds of police and volunteers protecting the marchers, whose authorised route is kept deliberately short and away from sensitive religious symbols.

Last year's parade was postponed to September because of and overshadowed by the Gaza war. And organisers had hoped to breathe new life into this year's march, after the 2005 stabbing incident.

In 2006, mass ultra-Orthodox protests against the gay pride parade erupted, with religious Jews taking to the streets of Jerusalem for several nights, burning rubbish bins and hurling objects at police.

A handful of far-right religious activists, who said they would protest "turning Jerusalem into Sodom" by holding up signs saying "Daddy, where's Mommy?" and "Mommy, where's Daddy?," were being kept separate from the marchers. 

Read more on:    israel  |  gay rights

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