Attorney General: Women of the Wall May Only Pray in Designated Area; Can Be Removed From Kosel

Birkas Kohanim at the Kosel. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Wednesday issued a directive to the Women of the Western Wall that they can pray only in the special area designated for them by the police and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

The order was given following a petition by the foundation and the police in response to disturbances which took place on Rosh Chodesh in recent months.

Mandelblit added that if the Women of the Wall disobey the directive, the police have the authority to remove them from the Western Wall.

His letter sent to the director of Women of the Wall stated that women’s prayers are permitted “in the area designated for this purpose, without sifrei Torah.”

Mandelblit’s letter further stated that these provisions were intended to preserve the holiness of the Kosel and to ensure that the prohibitions of the law will not be violated.

Since there are a number of women’s organizations, attorney Chagai Avrahami, legal advisor at the Ministry of Religious Services, emphasized that “this directive applies to all of the groups. Any person who acts contrary to the instructions of the Attorney General and contrary to prayer arrangements in the Kosel plaza will face legal consequences.”

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