Israel police are on high alert to avert possible clashes as Jews and Muslims observe their faith's major holidays of Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, which overlap this year.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says reinforced police contingents are deployed across Israel. There are large Muslim minorities in four important Israeli cities: Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv twin city of Jaffa — Yafo in Hebrew — and also in Haifa and Acre.

Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, begins at sunset Friday and ends on Saturday night.

Eid al-Adha, a three-day holiday that starts Saturday, is an occasion for family celebrations and outings. It commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim — or Abraham, as he is known in the Bible — to sacrifice his son in accordance with God's will.