Less than 24 hours before the Jerusalem Pride Parade kicks off, authorities are growing increasingly concerned of possible acts of violence at the hands of extremist groups.
Poster hung throughout the capital's streets called on Jerusalem's residents to "commit their souls" against "the abomination parade" and stone those taking part in it.
The posters were allegedly signed by Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed and wounded three participants of the May 2006 Jerusalem Pride Parade. He was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison. It is unclear, however, whether his signature is genuine. The identity of those behind the posters remains unknown.
"I call on those loyal to the king to commit their souls, their freedom, and their being to fight against the will of the evil to have an abomination parade," the letter said. "Now is the time of reckoning – who will be faithful to the King and who will abandon the battle out of personal interests."
Meanwhile, right wing activists have launched complex preparations for the parade. The ultra-Orthodox public was called on to attend a rally in Jerusalem's Shabbat Square, scheduled to take place during the parade itself.
"We will try to disrupt the parade in protest of the provocateurs who seek to harm the Jewish identity of Jerusalem," extreme right wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Ynet.
Earlier in the day Jerusalem city councilman Sa'ar Netanel, who is also one of the most prominent leaders of Israel's GLBT community, received an envelope filled with an unidentified white powder to his office along with a news article clipping about the parade. Police were alerted to the scene and launched an investigation.
Following the incident Netanel told Ynet he was "already used to receiving various threats every year.
"In the past there have been envelopes with threats, phone calls, 'pashkevilim' (street posters) calling for my death. This year was an innovation though. It's the first time I have received powder. But it never deterred me in the past and I will not be deterred this year as either. All of this just proves how necessary it is to hold the parade in Jerusalem."
Jerusalem Police have called in reinforcements to complete the security preparations for Thursday, putting the number of security personnel (from police and Border Police units) at over 2,000.
Participants are scheduled to convene in Jerusalem's Independence Park at 4:00 pm and begin marching towards the Liberty Bell Park an hour later.
A ceremony will be held at 7:00 pm, marking the end of the parade. Guests of honor will include MK Chaim Oron (Meretz) and representatives of the gay community.
Traffic will be blocked along the streets through which the parade will pass. Last year, despite attempts at canceling the parade entirely, it was held in central Jerusalem with thousands of participants. During that time members of the ultra-Orthodox community held a parallel rally and recited prayers of lamentation.
Ronen Medzini contributed to this report