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Israel clebrates Day of Atonement

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Israel clebrates Day of Atonement
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A day of prayer and fasting is about to get under way across Israel as Jews celebrate Yom Kippur the holiest day in their religious calender.

Total abstention from food and drink will begin 20 minutes before sundown on Tuesday and will end after nightfall on Wednesday. The traditions are observed by Jews across the world.

In Jerusalem rabbis led prayers of penitence in front of the Western Wall while nearby believers threw bread into the river to symbolically, “cast off” their sins from the previous year.

In another tradition a live chicken was passed over worshippers heads to signify sins being transferred to the bird.

Security was heightened as the army sealed off the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for 48 hours.

During the period Palestinians were denied entry into Israel apart from those requiring medical treatment or for humanitarian reasons.

Israel systematically closes its borders with the Palestinian territories during its main holidays for security reasons.