Western Wall
Western Wall iStock

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud), who heads the Committee for Holy Sites, refused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's request to enlarge the mixed prayer section at the Western Wall.

"In the last few months I have been thinking it over. My conscience did not allow me to do it. I could not confirm the Western Wall plan in a manner that would have harmed world order. The Reforms’ demand to turn the Western Wall into a place where women and men pray together is unacceptable to me and to the heritage of the people of Israel," Regev said.

"I decided to be loyal to my conscience, and therefore I informed the Prime Minister that I do not intend to approve the Western Wall plan by virtue of my authority as head of the Committee for Holy Places,” she continued.

"We did not return to the holiest of our sites in order to desecrate it. I have faith and hope that we will preserve and honor the sanctity of the Western Wall," added Regev.

Following Regev's decision and in an attempt to appease the Reform movement, Netanyahu removed her from her post as chair of the committee to approve the work to enlarge the mixed prayer section.