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Israel: Arab residents condemn city closures on Yom Kippur

Israeli forces close main roads due to the Jewish Yom Kippur in Jerusalem on September 27, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces close main roads due to the Jewish Yom Kippur in Jerusalem on September 27, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Arab Israeli citizens living in Acre condemned on Wednesday the authorities' closure of the city for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

"We were surprised with the decision of the municipality and police to close the city on Yom Kippur and sending closure notices to the shops in the Old City," said the activists of Acre Brings Us Together. Closure notices were issued to Arab and Jewish residents and shop owners. "We consider this to be an unjustified violation of Arab rights; and Arabs are the majority of the residents in the Old City of Acre."

The group pointed out that Islam respects all religions and non-Muslim holidays. "However, the closure of the city affecting all of its residents, including Arabs, is unjustified."

When Arab Muslims fast during the daylight hours in Ramadan, the group asked, do the authorities prevent non-Muslims from eating and drinking, or close their restaurants out of respect for the Muslims? "Of course not. So why do they prevent Arabs from going about their daily routines during Yom Kippur? Why do they oblige us to close our shops?"

READ: Israel to impose closure on Gaza crossing for Jewish holiday

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