WorldPride organisers have reached an agreement on an alternative route for the gay pride parade as the countdown to the event begins amid rising tensions.

The march will now take place away from central and religious areas of Jerusalem and instead will converge around the government office complex in Kiryat Haleom.

Noa Satath, Director of Jerusalem Open House which is organising the march said she was pleased with the new route.

It comes after ultra-orthodox Jews along with Israel’s Chief Rabbi and Muslim groups spoke out against the event and threatened “biblical punishments” if it went ahead.

Their opposition has been backed by the Vatican and in a poll by Voice of Israel,

an Israeli Government radio station.

Several petitions to cancel the event, due this Friday, are still being considered, Ynet News reports.