On Eve of Yom Kippur: Israeli Security Forces on High Alert to Thwart Possible Terror Attacks
Israel’s security forces have been put on high alert as the country shuts down for Yom Kippur on Tuesday evening amid fears of terror attacks during the Jewish Day of Atonement.
“The security forces are present in the settlements of Judea and Samaria – to protect residents,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “Whoever wants to carry out a shooting attack and kill Israeli civilians is in our crosshairs.”
“We are doing everything so that the terrorists will meet soldiers and policemen – who will thwart their terrorist actions,” Gantz said.
Gantz made the comments after holding a situation assessment at the IDF Central Command together with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and the head of the Shin Bet Ronen Bar.
“The forces will be wherever needed, whenever needed, with all the means needed,” he asserted. “Only a combined effort will bring results.”
On the eve of Yom Kippur, Gantz expressed his appreciation to IDF soldiers and security forces who he said “continue to stand guard even now.”
The IDF has bolstered 26 military battalions in preparation for Yom Kippur, and as a result thousands of soldiers will remain in the West Bank and are dispatched along the seam zone and security barrier area amid heightened security alerts for terror attacks, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 13. The IDF has also imposed a passage closure of the West Bank and Gaza, which went into effect at midnight.
The heightened security preparations come as Israel has since March been grappling with a new wave of Palestinian terrorism, including more than 25 terror attacks against Israeli civilians and more than 170 attacks on security forces, according to the IDF.
“These are tense days and our security forces are working non-stop, under complex conditions,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid. “Tens of thousands of worshipers came to the Western Wall plaza yesterday evening for the selichot services [ahead of Yom Kippur].”
Lapid thanked the Israel Police and the security forces for their accurate assessments and work to secure the safety of worshipers and wished the citizens of Israel, Gmar Chatima Tova [blessing for the sealing in the “Book of Life”] and a peaceful holiday.
Speaking at a ceremony for fallen soldiers of the IDF Armored Corps on Monday night, Lapid cautioned that Israel continues to face threats.
“The Iranian nuclear program, Hezbollah’s precision missiles in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, terrorist cells in Jenin and Nablus, the axis of terror trying to entrench itself in Syria,” Lapid said. “Israel is stronger than all its enemies, and we won’t hesitate to use force to protect the well-being of our people.”
“Our enemies must know that at any given moment, we are stronger, smarter, and tougher than them,” he added.
Starting on Tuesday evening marking Yom Kippur, Israel’s airspace will completely shut down and the country’s main Ben Gurion International airport will be closed for the 25-hour period of the fasting and praying holiday. During the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, Israel’s border crossings will also be shut. All public transport will be out of service and cars will not be driving on roads across the country apart from emergency services. First responders, including Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah teams will be on high alert over the Yom Kippur holiday.