Easter and Passover celebrations in Jerusalem

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Easter and Passover celebrations in Jerusalem

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Thousands of Christians are in Jerusalem marking Good Friday by walking the same path they believe Jesus took before his crucifixion.

Earlier, hundreds of pilgrims attended mass in the city’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the site at which many Christians believe Jesus was buried and the resurrection later took place.

Every year, Christians from all over the world make their way to Jerusalem for Easter celebrations.

Some of those walking along the Via Dolorosa, which is Latin for ‘Way of Suffering’, carried their own wooden crosses.

“It’s touching them. Getting the sense of what it felt like to walk in the same footsteps as the Lord and the many others that have done it through the centuries,” said Jerold Doyal, who had made the trip from Ireland.

This year, Easter falls at the same time as the Jewish Pesach, or Passover. The Jewish religious holiday officially begins on Friday evening.

In anticipation, the Israeli army closed the West Bank border just before midnight on Thursday and will reopen it on Saturday at midnight.

Security is tight at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. No Palestinians are allowed to cross into Israel except those needing medical care.