Israel's streets deserted on Yom Kippur

But Thursday's (September 16) virtual standstill in Israel - captured by Reuters drone video - is in fact an annual affair as the country marks Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

Businesses close, air traffic is halted and most Israelis refrain from driving on the Jewish "Day of Atonement", emptying city centres and highways across the country.

Many in Israel's Jewish majority mark Yom Kippur by fasting during the 25-hour holy period, which began at dusk on Wednesday and ends after dark on Thursday.

Last year, the holiday standstill was accompanied by a nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

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