Yom Kippur passed peacefully in Israel this year, Israel Defense Forces said Saturday night, although there were the usual accidents from a day in which cars disappear, and cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders rule the roads.
Magen David Adom rescue personnel treated some 2,000 people across the country, Israel Radio said. That number included 130 people who collapsed as a result of the 25-hour fast. This year, Yom Kippur took place in temperatures that topped 35 degrees Centigrade in some cities, primarily due to the holiday falling earlier than usual, when summer weather is still very much in evidence.
Among those needing medical treatment was a nine-year-old girl in Haifa, who was hospitalized in moderate-to-serious condition following a head injury. Nineteen people were also lightly hurt in road accidents.
In the Upper Galilee, fire fighters scrambled to control a large forest fire near the village of Amirim on Saturday evening. The blaze began Saturday afternoon, and there were no reports of injuries, Israel Radio said. Residents of the village were evacuated from their homes and Route 866 was blocked in both directions.
Firefighters succeeded in partially extinguishing the blaze, allowing some residents to return to their homes.
In Bnei Brak, a young girl drowned in a local mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), Army Radio said. According to the report, the girl and her younger siblings had entered the building at around 1 pm, when they found the gate open. The girl was pulled from the water by a passer-by and taken to hospital in critical condition. She was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.
Expecting many thousands of Jewish worshipers to gather at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the start of Yom Kippur on Friday evening, police undertook numerous preemptive security measures for the duration of the fast. Army Radio reported Saturday
Security crossings into Israel from the West Bank were temporarily closed Friday and were to open again following Yom Kippur in accordance with security assessments adopted by the IDF.