Israel police on alert to avert clashes as major Jewish and Muslim holidays coincide

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.