Security Guard Shortage Closes Kosel Entrances

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

A shortage of security guards forced the closure of two entrances to the Kosel Plaza on Sunday and Monday, Arutz Sheva reported.

Pedestrian access from the Jewish Quarter and from the Arab shuk in the Old City was blocked, resulting in long waiting times for visitors to the Kosel through the Dung Gate entrance.

Officials of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said that the private company which provides security has been hampered by a lack of manpower, and efforts to increase the numbers of guards have so far failed.

This is the first time that two entrances to the plaza were closed at the same time, although one of the three entrances to the site have been closed at times in recent months due to the same problem.

Israeli police farm out security to the private firm, and Foundation officials have been imploring the police to get the company to meet its obligations.

“This situation cannot continue,” said a Foundation official. “If this problem is not solved we will no doubt see further closings of the gates to the Kosel, with the public being shunted from entrance to entrance as they seek to pray at the holy site.”