Israei security heavy for Passover

April 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

JERUSALEM, April 6 (UPI) -- Israeli police were on high alert and the military increased its deployment Friday before the beginning of Passover, officials said.

The military closed off crossing points to and from the West Bank until Saturday night but said 500 Gaza Strip Christians could enter Israel or the West Bank and 20,000 permits into Israel had been authorized for West Bank Christians, Haaretz reported.

A police spokesman said there would be a large police presence in the Old City of Jerusalem, where Easter commemorations will take place.

Christians were to participate in the traditional procession along the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus walked on his way to crucifixion. Jewish pilgrims were to gather at the Western Wall at sundown, the start of Passover, commemorating the biblical Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.

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