The organization which manages the Western Wall Plaza condemned an egalitarian prayer group for disrupting traditional prayer services at the holy site Monday morning.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which administers the plaza, castigated the Women of the Wall, a small group of activists who hold egalitarian prayer services at the Western Wall once a month.
“During this past hour, hundreds of Orthodox men and women, and about forty women from Women of the Wall, have come to the Western Wall Plaza for Rosh Chodesh Shevat prayers,” the foundation said in a statement Monday morning.
“The Women of the Wall group decided to leave the area set aside for them, and by doing so, went back on their commitment to the President of Israel and disturbed public order at the Western Wall Plaza.”
Mr. Eden Shimon, director of operations for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, approached the group of Women of the Wall several times and reminded them of the agreement, pointing out that they were disturbing the peace, violating their commitment to the President of Israel, and creating tensions at the Western Wall Plaza.
"It should be noted that the group promised to return to the area set aside for them, but did not do so in order to create friction at the Plaza,” the foundation said. “Likewise, a group of students joined them and tried to enter a group of Orthodox worshippers and create unrest.”
“The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is deeply saddened by the terrible unrest on Rosh Chodesh - Both by the entry of men from the Women of the Wall group into the women's section, something that harms the holiness of the Western Wall and that had not occurred until now, and by an Orthodox boy bringing in a whistle, which also harmed the holiness of the site.”
“The Foundation staff tried very hard for this event to go by peacefully but were faced with Women of the Wall refusing to abide by security directives. This is a terrible event that must be denounced. Please maintain the sacred nature of the Western Wall and distance from it such disgrace and demonstration.”