Jerusalem's 20th Gay Pride parade began on Thursday afternoon marking the start of Israel's pride month.
More than 7,000 people gathered at the city's Liberty Bell Park for a happening before setting out on the parade under heavy police protection after threats were sent via social media to organizers. Roads leading to the parade rout were closed, hours before it was set to begin.
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy was also participating in the parade to support the LGBTQ community which has come under threats of violence.
"I was shocked to the core of my being by the heinous calls for murder and foul words targeted at the LGBT community, incitement that has already led to murder in the past,"
After the 2015 murder of Shira Banki, a high school student and the wounding of six others during the pride parade, by an ultra-Orthodox settler, the police said they were taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of participants.
Police detectives apprehended two men in their 20s, who had tear gas, bats and gloves in their car, suspected of intent to attack participants in the parade.
On Wednesday, the police said that they had arrested a man suspected of sending threats to the producer of the event and to Labor legislator Gilad Kariv.
The parade will end at the municipal Independence Park where musical performances will begin. Banki's father is also set to address the crowd.
Dozens gathered outside the park to protest the event, including recist Lehava movement leader Benzion Gophstein, carrying signs reading "Jerusalem is not Sodom" and "Don't let them have children."