Thousands Attend Pre-Yom Kippur Services at Western Wall

Meni Tzabari, an Orthodox Jew, tells stories to a group of school children as he leads them through the streets of the old neighborhood of Nahlaot on their way to a synagogue to pray 'Selihot' or special prayers for forgiveness at 3:30 a.m. September 10, 2002 in Jerusalem, Israel. Many …
Quique Kierszenbaum/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Thousands of worshipers flocked to the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday evening for the traditional prayers of supplication, or selichot, a day ahead of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Jerusalem police were on high alert ahead of the holiday, which begins Tuesday evening. The city has been on edge since a terror attack Sunday claimed the lives of two Israelis. But tensions have been simmering since last October, when the wave of Palestinians terror attacks including stabbings, shootings, car-rammings began. Much of the violence has taken place in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In addition to armed police and security forces, volunteers with the Civil Guard will be carrying weapons to protect worshipers at local synagogues during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, according to a report on Army Radio.

The Old City has been closed to traffic until the end of the holiday, after sundown on Wednesday. The Israeli army announced Monday that it would also be sealing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for 48 hours starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

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