JERUSALEM, Israel -- As Israelis prepare to retell the biblical story of the exodus from Egypt on Friday evening, police and security forces have been placed on high alert countrywide.
Authorities are focusing special attention on national parks, beaches and other public gathering places, to ensure that Israelis and visitors alike enjoy the weeklong holiday.
At sundown Friday, many Israelis will gather at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City to usher in the Passover holiday with prayer.
Christian pilgrims will walk along the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, retracing the steps of Jesus Christ to Golgotha, where he was crucified.
Surrounded by enemies in the north, south and even some inside the country, Israelis remain optimistic.
"We've returned to our homeland after 2,000 years," one Israeli told CBN News earlier this week.
"We're thankful for all we've been able to accomplish since the rebirth of the Jewish state, and we're confident the God of Israel will continue to protect and prosper us here in the coming years," he said.