Israelis took to the roads on Wednesday in preparation for the evening's traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner.
Many of Israel's central roads and highways
were gridlocked, police sources indicated, adding that police officers
have been positioned across Israel in an attempt to secure the start of
the Jewish new year.
In addition to traffic police
reinforcements ahead of the annual traffic jam before and after the
holiday feast, thousands of policemen, border policemen and police
volunteers were positioned all over Israel ahead of the festivities.
year's Rosh Hashanah will run parallel to the Muslim festival of Eid
Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan, as well as
coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the second
intifada in 2000.
As a result, Israel has declared a general lockdown of the West Bank, fearing attacks during the holiday season.
Speaking of increased police deployment,
Ilan Sardal, the head of the police operations section, said that the
police was expected to deploy in large numbers, with "most of Israel
Police officers expected to work the holiday, so to facilitate the
"We have prepared in several key areas:
security-wise, in order to allow Israelis to celebrate in security;
maintaining order in public areas such as parks and beaches, and a
special attention to the criminal aspect," Sardal said.
The unusually noticeable police presence
will be felt throughout the holiday, from Wednesday evening through
Sunday, and is expected to make a return during Sukkoth.