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Israel prepares for Jewish holy day

Sept. 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

JERUSALEM, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Security and emergency services were on high alert in Israel Tuesday in preparation for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, officials said.

Israel's military and police beefed up patrols in cities and around synagogues in preparation for the holiday, which officially begins at sundown Tuesday and ends at sundown Wednesday, Haaretz reported.

Closure of West Bank border crossings began Monday night and will continue until midnight Wednesday.

Approximately two-thirds of Jewish Israelis are expected to fast this Yom Kippur and more than 80 percent will use the day to either pray or for general introspection, a survey indicates.

The survey was conducted for the Gersher social cohesion organization by the Panels Research Institute, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Gersher Chairman Daniel Goldman said the results demonstrate Yom Kippur represents a central day in the Israeli calendar.

The institute queried 502 Jewish Israelis aged 18 and over and reported a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

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