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Israel Puts Troops on Alert for Passover

Israel placed its forces on high alert Friday, ahead of the week-long Passover festival which begins at sunset, and Easter celebrations in Jerusalem.

Heightened security was in place all over the country, a police spokesman said, with the emphasis on public places, and a large police presence in the Old City of Jerusalem, the focal point of Easter commemorations in the Holy Land.

He said the alert was at its second highest level, but noted that this was the same level as in previous years.

The Israeli military also closed off crossing points to and from the West Bank until Saturday night. However, a military statement said Israel has allowed 500 of the Gaza Strip’s tiny Christian community to enter Israel or the West Bank, and has authorized permits into Israel for 20,000 West Bank Christians.

Thousands of Jewish and Christian pilgrims, meanwhile, are expected to flock to Jerusalem, to celebrate their respective holy days.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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