Orthodox Jews protesting Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade suspected In bombing

Anthony Cuesta | April 23, 2007

TEL AVIV — A bomb detonated in the Jerusalem village of Beit Jimal Friday morning was the work of Gay Pride Parade protesters, police suspect.

According to the Jerusalem Post, several fliers condemning the parade, which is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem in June, were found in a vineyard near a monestary, close to where the medium-sized bomb went off.

The Post reports that a nearby tractor driver was lightly wounded in the blast. Jerusalem District head Cmdr. Ilan Franco ordered a special team to open an investigation into the incident.

The Pride Parade was originally scheduled to take place last summer, but was canceled several times.

It was first pushed off to November due to the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in July. Then, due to the overwhelming threat of violence from parade protesters, the event was reworked into a rally that was confined to the Hebrew University campus in Givat Ram.

Disturbances on the day of the rally were minimal, though security was tight.

However, outrage over the issue of the parade, which caused serious rifts in Jerusalem society last year, has remained high, particularly in the religious community.

Last Sunday the Open House for Pride and Tolerance filed an official request with the Jerusalem Police seeking authorization to hold a pride parade in the capital on June 21, reports Ynet News.

�I hope there is no connection between the explosion that occurred near Beit Shemesh and the haredim (strictly Orthodox), but nothing would surprise me in light of their behavior during the previous gay parade,� Open House member Saar Netanel said to Ynet News. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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