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Security forces on high alert as Israelis mark Yom Kippur

09/13/2013 14:35

West Bank checkpoints temporarily closed until after Day of Atonement ends; police undertake security measures to safeguard worshipers gathering at Western Wall; train and bus services ceased.


Yom Kippur Photo: Courtesy
Expecting many thousands of Jewish worshipers to gather at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the start of Yom Kippur Friday evening, police have preemptively undertaken numerous security measures to safeguard them for the duration of the fast, which ends on Saturday evening.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Thursday that the hundreds of officers, to be stationed in and around the Kotel and the Old City, had been instructed on all security needs and expectations days before.

“Israeli police have completed security measures ahead of Yom Kippur, which will be implemented from Thursday evening until the end of Yom Kippur,” said Rosenfeld. “Tens of thousands of visitors in the area are expected, and police will ensure they can pray peacefully.”

Rosenfeld said Border Police, undercover teams and various other elite units will blanket the area to respond immediately to any incidents, with particular precaution being taken at the Western Wall and synagogues in the area.

Security crossings into Israel from the West Bank were temporarily closed Friday and will open again following Yom Kippur in accordance with security assessments adopted by the IDF.

Train and bus services throughout the country ended Friday afternoon and were set to resume Saturday evening after Yom Kippur ends. 

As occurs every year, streets and highways across the country are also empty of private traffic in observance of Yom Kippur.

The fast will begin at at 6:12 p.m in Jerusalem, 6:27 p.m in Tel Aviv, 6:19 p.m in Haifa and 6:27 p.m in Beersheba and will last approximately 25 hours.