Authorities in Jerusalem have taken steps to heighten internal security measures as the holy day of Yom Kippur begins. The tension in the region has recently increased, resulting from Muslim riots and violence surrounding the Temple Mount, which was triggered by the Jewish New Year. Because few Israelis will travel on the holiest days of the year, and it is a day of fasting, the roads will be primarily empty. The holiday Eid al-Adhato begins Wednesday evening and the concern is that Muslim holidays are normally periods of increased violence, as indicated by the recent worldwide terror attacks during the last Ramadan Holiday. This has prompted Israeli officials to take steps to avert possible violence during Yom Kippur.
The military, as well as the police force, are on increased alert; therefore, Jerusalem will have several thousand police officers patrolling the city, as thousands of Jews will arrive at the Wailing Wall, also known as the Kotel. Entry to the Temple Mount will be restricted only to female worshipers and men over 40 years old during the holiday. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has ordered the complete closure of the West Bank and all crossings between Gaza as well as Israel during Yom Kippur, beginning at noon on Tuesday and ending the closure Wednesday at midnight, according to Breaking Israel News.
On Monday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) indicated that during the closure, access would only be provided to medical, humanitarian needs, and other specific circumstances upon IDF approval. The decision to close the West Bank is among other steps taken by Israeli authorities to avert a possible increase of violence during Yom Kippur. Corresponding to Monday night’s clash with Palestinians, in which 27 were arrested in East Jerusalem for throwing firebombs and rocks at police, checkpoints were set up Monday night by police to restrict the travel around Jerusalem’s Old City leading to its holy sites. This action was taken in an effort to increase the security of the area.
By Jireh Gibson
Edited By Leigh Haugh
Breaking Israel News: Israel Prepares for Possible Yom Kippur Violence
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