Watch: Brazilian President visits Western Wall in Jerusalem

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro becomes first head of state to visit Western Wall with Israeli prime minister.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Bolsonaro at the Western Wall
Netanyahu and Bolsonaro at the Western Wall
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited the Western Wall alongside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, becoming the first head of state to do so with an Israeli premier.

Such visits can be seen as granting tacit approval to Israeli sovereignty over the site.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said it was the first time a sitting head of state had visited there with an Israeli prime minister.

The two men approached the wall and placed their hands on its stones during the brief visit in rainy weather.

Bolsonaro's visit follows a similar one by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 21, when he became the first high-ranking American official to visit the Western Wall with an Israeli prime minister.

Bolsonaro has expressed his strong support for Israel and spoke of being moved by a Christian pilgrimage to the Jordan River he undertook a couple of years ago.

He has also pledged to follow in US President Donald Trump's footsteps and move Brazil's Israel embassy to Jerusalem, but that is on hold for now.

Trump became the first sitting American president to visit the wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray, in May 2017, but he was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders.

Monday's visit and the one by Pompeo come ahead of Israel's April 9 elections in which Netanyahu is facing a tough challenge from centrist former military chief Benny Gantz.

The visits have provided him with an opportunity to further his argument that he is Israel's irreplaceable statesman, a key part of his campaign.