Local authorities announced a heightened security presence and significant transport and communications disruptions throughout Israel and the Palestinian Territories during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur between the early hours (local time) on Tuesday, October 8, through to the evening on Wednesday, October 9. Israeli police officers have deployed to public areas and synagogues, with a particularly heightened security presence in Jerusalem including checkpoints for vehicles crossing from the east to the west of the city. Transport authorities have also closed roads in and around the city. Border officials closed all border crossings, including the West Bank and Gaza, from 12:00 (local time) on Tuesday, and are due to reopen them at 22:00 on Wednesday. Officials at Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) ceased flight operations as of 13:35 on Tuesday, and are expected to resume arrival flights from 21:30 and departure flights from 11:30 on Wednesday. Public transport has also halted bus and train services for the duration of the Yom Kippur fast with only two trains operating during Wednesday night from Naharia to TLV, and from Beersheba to Tel Aviv. Train operations are due to resume on Thursday, October 10. Local radio and television communications ceased after sundown on Tuesday, and will resume when Yom Kippur ends.
Israel and the Palestinian Territories will also observe the public holidays of Sukkot between Sunday, October 13, and Sunday, October 20, and Simchat Torah between October 20 and Monday, October 21. Those practicing Sukkot typically do not work on the first or last day of the festival, and the government has declared bank holidays in the afternoons of October 13, 15-20.
A heightened security presence is expected, and significant transport, business, and communications disruptions are also likely during the public holidays.
Jewish people traditionally observe Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, with a 25-hour fast and intensive prayer. Sukkot is a week-long festival commemorating the time after the Jewish people left Egypt. Simchat Torah marks the end of the Sukkot and is typically dedicated to the reading of the Torah.
Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities, confirm flight reservations, and anticipate significant transportation, business, and communication disruptions and heightened security measures.
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