Holiday gridlock
Photo: Yaron Brener

Israel welcomes Jewish New Year

High Holidays kick off as Israelis welcome Rosh Hashana. IDF declares full closure across West Bank ahead of holiday weekend

Israel welcomed the High Holidays Wednesday, beginning with some traditional Rosh Hashana gridlock, as thousands made their way to holiday dinners across the country.


Exceptional traffic was noted on all major highways, especially Highway 1, connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the Coastal Highway, leading to and from Haifa. 


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The defense establishment declared a high state of alert ahead of the long holiday weekend. The West Bank was put under full closure until midnight Saturday, excluding humanitarian cases and medical emergencies.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the first time ever, sent a Rosh Hashana greeting to all Israelis over the internet, via his YouTube channel.


"In honor of the New Year, I would like to wish all of Israel a happy and successful year, to you and your families," Netanyahu said. "I hope and believe that this will be a year of new beginnings."


Hundreds of IDF soldier celebrating Rosh Hashana dinner in their bases across the country, will enjoy a sweet start to the new Jewish year as well: Some 28 tons of apples have been delivered to IDF bases, ready to be dipped in 2.8 tons of honey.


Traditional toasts will be made using some 7,000 bottles of non-alcoholic Tirosh, or grape juice.


Ahead of the holiday weekend, the IDF Spokesman's Unit reiterated its appeal to the public, to adhere to security forces orders and marked areas when hiking, and avoid venturing into areas designated as live-fire zones or minefields; stressing such entry was illegal and dangerous.


Ynetnews wishes its readers Shana Tova and a happy new year.








פרסום ראשון: 09.08.10, 18:38
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