00:50 GMT16 May 2021
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    The number of COVID-19 cases in Israel has risen by 410 people in 24 hours to reach over 10,505, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday in its daily update.

    Live from East Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday as the Birkat Kohanim, or Priestly Blessing, unfolds in a limited format due to Covid-19 restrictions. Usually, thousands of devout Jews would crowd the Western Wall Plaza to receive the blessing of hundreds of priests, called Kohanim.

    This Passover, however, only 10 priests will attend the prayers, keeping the recommended distance from each to each other.

    Some of the world’s toughest mitigation measures have been in place in Israel since late last March, obliging citizens not to leave their homes unless necessary and not to leave their area of settlement at all.

    A mass priestly blessing is held at the Western Wall twice every year, once during Passover and once during Sukkot. This gathering became a tradition following its initiation by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafner during Israel's 1968-1970 War of Attrition. Passover is a Jewish holiday which commemorates a time when God spared the Israelites from the last and deadliest of ten Biblical plagues.

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    Jerusalem, blessing, Western Wall, Israel
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