Photo: Haim Tzah
Police handle violent haredi protestor
Photo: Haim Tzah
Photo: Haim Zach
Hundreds of haredim protest throughout week
Photo: Haim Zach
PR Photo
Pride 2006 cancelled?

Police to recommend parade cancelled

While hundreds of anti-pride protestors burn trash cans in J'lem, Open House voices disappointment with reports that police intend to ask High Court to cancel pride parade, offer enclosed event instead

Representatives from the Jerusalem Open House addressed reports that the police intend to petition the High Court of Justice to cancel the pride parade in its current venue and offer an alternative event that would be easier to secure.


"The pride parade is a parade of civil rights and freedom of expression," the Open House said on Friday, "it's inconceivable that violence and threats of violence will deprive individuals in Jerusalem of their rightful freedom of speech."


More and more reports of violent incidents pile up as the days lead up to the parade, due to take place in exactly one week. Friday afternoon brought the report of a harassing call placed to the home of Jerusalem council member Saar Netanel (Meretz) by an unknown man who called the councilmember a "pervert".


Netanel is a well known gay rights activist. The incident was reported to the police, as Netanel told Ynet. He also said that "Freedom of expression and democracy must not bow down to threats and incitement." Natanel expressed his hopes that police will know how to handle the issue.


Some 200 haredim took to Hashabat Square in Jerusalem on Friday, setting trash cans on fire and closing off the square to traffic. Police forces have been called to the scene.


A senior police official told Ynet on Thursday that the police intend to petition the High Court to have the parade cancelled in its current venue and request that it be held in an enclosed area that could be secured more efficiently.


Parade at convention center?  

An alarming amount of intelligence information has been gathered by the Jerusalem police regarding the intention of ultra orthodox extremists to violently assault participants in the parade.


The Jerusalem police was expected to inform the Open House of their decision to authorize or cancel the parade by the end of this past week, but the decision has been postponed till Sunday, when Jerusalem chief Maj. Gen. Ilan Franco will meet with Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi and present his with the current intelligence and security estimates regarding the parade. Franco is then expected to inform the High Court of the final decision.


A senior source in the Jerusalem police spoke with Ynet and divulged that if the situation remains as it is, the police will recommend the parade, in its current venue, be cancelled and moved to an enclosed space. One of the alternatives already suggested is the Jerusalem International Convention Center.


Neta Sela contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 11.03.06, 15:17
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