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The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall and the Kotel HaMa'aravi or Kotel in Hebrew, is the section of the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount, and is considered the sole remnant of the Second Temple following its destruction in 70 C.E.
Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, has become the most sacred spot in the Jewish religion. It was returned to Jewish control during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israeli troops captured the Old City from Jordan. A large plaza in front of the wall where Jews and visitors could congregate and pray was immediately paved.
Over the decades the wall has been visited by millions of tourists and pilgrims and is often on the itinerary of foreign heads of state who visit Israel. One of the customary traditions for visitors to the Western Wall is to place a small written prayer into one of the cracks in the Wall. It is also where many new IDF conscripts pledge their allegiance to the army and to Israel.
The Western Wall's religious and historic importance to the Jewish people combined with its extreme proximity to Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount, primarily the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, has been the trigger for many outbreaks of violence since 1967.
‘It’s important to ask who benefited politically from this show of force against Women of the Wall 34 days before the election,’ says group’s head after thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths were bused in to protest last Friday
Special service held to mark the 30th anniversary of Women of the Wall, which falls on International Women's Day ■ Israel Police accuses Women of the Wall of provoking clashes, in which several women were hurt
Judy MaltzThis is a primium articleThis article contains a videoThis article contains a slideshow gallery19 comments19
Benny Gantz, the man seen as the main challenger to Netanyahu in the upcoming election, was unusually forthcoming on issues such as freedom of prayer at the Western Wall and LGBT rights in his maiden speech. Here's why
Opponents of project fear it could strengthen Jewish settlement in Arab neighberhood of Silwan ■ Jerusalem Development Authority says releasing report on project's economic feasibility 'could disrupt progress on the project'
The local planning and building committee is deferring to the district planning committee, which will debate the permit on Monday ■ Prayer site meant to resolve the problem of prayer freedom for non-Orthodox Jews
Nir HassonThis is a primium articleThis article contains a video1 comments1
If Reform Jewish leaders were really honest with themselves, this is what they would say – acknowledging they’ve elevated their opposition to Orthodoxy far above grappling with the critical problems in their own house
'You can't tell American Jews: We want you to come to Israel, but your form of Jewish-religious expression is unacceptable to us,' the Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times columnist tells Israeli weekly Makor Rishon