Israel Beefs Up Security before Yom Kippur

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel stepped up security ahead of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, imposing a full closure on Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip and reinforcing a police presence at synagogues, cemeteries and other public gathering sites.

As always, anyone with critical medical or humanitarian needs will be allowed through the checkpoints.

"The IDF will continue to work to protect the citizens of the State of Israel while taking the fabric of daily Palestinian life into consideration," the IDF Spokesperson's Office said in a statement.

The heightened alert will continue through Sukkot, the seven-day festival also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, and Simchat Torah, the holiday marking a new cycle of reading through the first five books of the Bible, this year falling on Tuesday, October 9.

Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency rescue service, will also be ready to assist anyone adversely affected by fasting as well as anyone injured in bicycle accidents.

Kids often enjoy riding their bikes on empty city streets during Yom Kippur, when only emergency and security vehicles are on the roads.

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