Israel on high alert for Yom Kippur

JERUSALEM, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Israeli police were on high alert in hopes of preventing clashes on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, officials said.

Police have been in discussions with Israeli Arab representatives to try to prevent tensions after the burning of a mosque in Upper Galilee this week, Haaretz reported.


The publication said police, who have also been meeting with the Arab sector in mixed Jewish and Arab towns throughout Israel, hope to prevent clashes like one that occurred three years ago on Yom Kippur between Arab and Jewish residents in Acre.

The West Bank was sealed by security forces at midnight Thursday and it will remain blocked for 48 hours except for humanitarian or medical reasons.

At noon Friday, the Taba border crossing and the Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan River border crossings to Jordan were to shut down and will remain closed until 9 p.m. Saturday, while the Allenby terminal between Israel and Jordan was to close at 11 a.m. Crossings to Jordan and Gaza also were scheduled to close.

Flights to and from Israel were to be halted from 1 p.m. Friday to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.


Mass prayers, intended for people who don't go to synagogues regularly, were scheduled.

Haaretz said the Tzohar Rabbis' organization expected an estimated 40,000 worshipers to attend about 200 prayer sessions the group is organizing with the Association of Community Centers for people who do not pray regularly.

Most Jews in Israel observe Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, public opinion surveys have found.

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