Israel shut down on Wednesday evening for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, even as security forces remained on high alert amid a recent spike in attacks and with two escaped Palestinian security prisoners still on the run.

This Yom Kippur comes as the country is battling a fresh wave of coronavirus and Wednesday saw long lines and a rush to get tested before most testing stations also shut for the holy day.

All flights in and out of Ben Gurion airport ceased at 1:35 p.m. The airport will reopen Thursday night with arrivals starting at 9:30 p.m., while departures will resume at 11:30 p.m. During this period Israel’s air space is also closed to flights passing through.

Border crossings also shut just after noon and will reopen at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

As sundown approached, all local radio and television broadcasts gradually fell silent.

Public transport also halted with buses and trains stopping their routes until after the fast day. Inner-city buses will gradually restart from 8 p.m., while inter-city transport will restart from 9:30 p.m. Thursday. READ MORE

Israel shuts down for Yom Kippur, but forces on high alert

Josh Toupos

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