Dozens of rainbow and Israeli flags billowed in the hot breeze on Friday as tens of thousands of people came to revel and celebrate Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade.
The parade, a vibrant display of acceptance, was one of the largest public events in Israel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual celebration is considered the biggest LGBTQ event in the conservative Middle East and is held in Israel’s rare hub of gay culture.
Although there were concerns over a recent surge in coronavirus cases, linked to the Delta variant, the seaside gathering held on the coastal promenade drew an estimated 100,000 people, according to local news reports.
The country’s rapid vaccination drive allowed the Tel Aviv Pride Parade to return after being canceled last year due to concerns about spreading the virus.
Israeli authorities, who fully reopened the country this spring, are once again requiring people to wear masks in indoor public places, and are advising masks at large outdoor events. Fewer than half of attendees wore face coverings.
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