Israel prepares for Passover festival

Passover marks the biblical story of the Hebrews` exodus from Egypt.

Jerusalem: Israelis are making their last-minute preparations for Passover, which marks the biblical story of the Hebrews` exodus from Egypt.

The biblical story recounts that God killed the first-born of Egypt after the pharaoh refused to release the children of Israel from bondage, but "passed over" the houses of the Hebrews.

The holiday begins on Monday night with a traditional seder meal. Extended families typically gather to retell the story of the exodus and eat unleavened bread called matzoh.

Though only about a quarter of Israel`s Jews are Orthodox, most do not eat bread during Passover and hold a seder.

In a routine measure, Israel imposed a closure on the West Bank. In 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at a hotel seder, killing 30.

Bureau Report