2,000 policemen have been allocated to provide security for the gay pride parade in Jerusalem this afternoon (Thursday).
Tensions around this year's parade are even more heightened than usual, due to last year's murder of Shira Banki, 16, at the Jerusalem parade.
In anticipation of possible security problems, the police arrested the family of the murderer, Yishai Schlissel, in the early morning hours of yesterday. His mother and five of his brothers were taken into custody.
One of the brothers, Michael Schlissel, was brought to court, where his arrest was extended by a day. The mother and the rest of the brothers were released with a restraining order banning them from Jerusalem until Friday, when the parade will be safely over.
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, who is representing Michael Schlissel, criticized the decision to arrest his client. "The raid on the Schlissel family home is a travesty," he said, "my client was arrested purely because he is Yishai's brother." Jerusalem City Council Member Nachmaniel Saban, who was involved in having the family released on bail, claimed that the Jerusalem police "have been acting overly hysterical."
Central Jerusalem streets will be closed from 2:30 this afternoon in anticipation of the parade.
In a related development, the police detained 4 women in their 30s for questioning last night, after it was discovered that the women had spray-painted several buildings located along the parade route with messages expressing support for the parade.
The police found cans of spray paint and other equipment in their possession.
The suspects were questioned overnight in a local police station, and said the wrote the messages in order to encourage people to attend the parade. They were later released amid an ongoing investigation.