Police Prepare for Memorial Service for Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef
Jerusalem police force have completed preparations for a memorial service marking the end of the Jewish traditional 30-day mourning period for Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef zt"l. The memorial service will begin at 6:00 PM, on the corner of Shmuel HaNavi and Yechezkel in the capital.
Hundreds of police officers from the city center, Israeli Border Guard officers, volunteers, and police reinforcements will be deployed from the afternoon hours until the end of the rally in the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood, maintaining public order and directing traffic. Last month's funeral for the great Rabbi drew an estimated 800,000 people, and large crowds are expected Tuesday as well.
Both Shmuel HaNavi and Yechezkel streets will be closed from 9:00 AM Tuesday until approximately 2:00 AM Wednesday morning in anticipation of large crowds. The roads from Kikar Shabbat (in Me'ah Shearim) to Yechezkel St., from the Bar-Ilan junction to Shmuel HaNavi St., and the entrance from Chaim Bar-Lev Blvd. to Shimon HaTzadik St. will be closed beginning at 2:00 PM. These streets will be reopened at 11:00 PM to help disperse the crowd after the rally.
Jerusalem Traffic Police said that private vehicles will not be admitted entry near the rally's location, and urged the public to use public transport to get to the site.
Police also advised attendees to be careful and not to take unnecessary risks to view the ceremony, such as ascending high places like balconies and rooftops, to prevent losses of life. "Do not ascend, move, or change the positions of the rally's boundaries, which have been determined by police forces," a police directive said. About 200 people were treated at the funeral due to the crush of the crowd, Magen David Adom said, with 15 of them requiring hospitalization.
The police also told Jerusalem residents to expect traffic delays due to the rally during the entire day Tuesday, and for attendees to listen to police orders.