TEL AVIV (Sep. 21)
Stringent security measures were in effect today as Israel prepared to observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which began at sundown. Special police squads were posted at the approaches to all cities and the larger settlements to guard against possible terrorist incursions. Israel’s borders were sealed off from the West Bank and other occupied territories and all bridges across the Jordan River were closed for the duration of the holiday.
Local synagogues appointed security officers with instructions on how to deal with suspicious-looking parcels that might be found on the premises. Seats were reserved for tourists, new immigrants and soldiers on leave.
Special arrangements were made for soldiers on duty at far-flung posts on the cease-fire lines or patrolling the occupied areas. Kol Nidre and Neila prayers were advanced 90 minutes before sun down for soldiers slated for patrol duty on Yom Kippur eve. All troops on duty were provided with abbreviated prayer books. Those on the front lines were given a dispensation by the chief chaplain to drink a minimum quantity of water on the fast day. Religious services will be held at all Army posts in accordance with military regulations.