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Israeli police reject proposed gay pride parade route through Jerusalem

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The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance’s proposed route for a gay pride march through the city has been rejected by Israeli police, who claimed one reason for their concern is that the route would pass a yeshiva, an institution for the study of traditional Jewish texts such as the Torah.

Organisers wanted the 29 July parade to end at the Knesset, the legislative centre for Israel located in Givat Ram, a central district of Jerusalem. Instead, police have told the group they must end their parade in a public park, suggesting Liberty Bell Park, where last year’s parade ended.

Speaking to YnetNews.com, Open House Chairman Mikie Goldstein said, “The decision is infuriating. We are determined to rally for our rights – and this year we wanted to end the march at the Knesset.

“Marching to parliament is a right in every democratic country. We get the sense that it is easier for the police to tell us, ‘March along last year’s route.'” The police however, claim that Open House’s request was quashed over “security and safety concerns.”

The parade is scheduled close to the anniversary of the 2009 shootings at the Tel Aviv branch of the Israeli GLBT Association. A weekly youth event was taking place at the centre when a gunman entered and opened fire. Nir Katz, a 26-year-old man, and Liz Troubishi, aged 17, were both killed. Police have still yet to obtain a lead on the killer’s identity.

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