Thousands gathered for a mass prayer rally at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Thursday to protest efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Dubbed "prayer for salvation of Israel and its legacy," the protesters called for an end to the "Kerry edicts," referring to the U.S. secretary of state's efforts at a framework deal that Israelis and Palestinians will agree on.
There were, however, no political speeches given due to the high tension in the coalition in recent days following the conflict between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel, a member of Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi and one of the main organizers of the event, told Israel's Channel 2 that thousands of people had come to pray for the people of Israel, to "strengthen the government and its leader, so that they can stand up to the various pressures coming from across the sea."
Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, another member of Bennett's party who recently said that gay Jews have "higher souls" than non-Jews, was also at the rally. He said the party does not accept Kerry's framework agreement, as it has been publicized, and that most Israelis would not be willing to divide Jerusalem as the plan reportedly suggests.
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