The plan, which was rejected by environmentalists, architects and local Palestinians, has long been disputed by critics who say a transition government shouldn't approve it
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.
Holding prayer shawls above their heads and covering their faces, priests chant 'the Lord blesses you and keeps you'
With her first exhibition underway, Lesley Sachs tells Haaretz how she translated her battles with the ultra-Orthodox into art – even if she doesn’t depict any violence
Foreign Ministry states it 'views gravely' the 'violation of Israeli sovereignty’ ■ Chile is home to the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East ■ Pinera won’t visit a refugee camp, as was originally planned
The plans for a Western Wall line, which must still be passed by the government, have been contested by many as an intrusive project linking East and West Jerusalem
Jews and Muslims face a common struggle against white supremacists. Now Jewish and Muslim women are building another form of solidarity: jointly facing the discrimination within our own communities that denies us religious and ritual equality
Following Complaint, Senior Rabbinical Judge Backs Out of Event to ‘Reclaim’ Western Wall From Conservative, Reform Jews
Rabbi Eliezer Igra withdrew from the event organized by far-right group after Conservative movement leaders filed official complaint against him
Teen's death threats were issued during a Women of the Wall prayer service held at Jerusalem’s Western Wall and also targeted members of the movement
In the nastiest, emptiest Israeli election I've ever witnessed, there was nearly a meaningful debate about one substantial issue. Then the moment passed
U.S. secretary of state says 'it wasn't a mistake' when the administration decided to drop words 'occupied territories' from report regarding the Golan Heights
‘Delegitimizing other Jews leads to the kind of violence we saw last Friday,’ Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, warns
‘A Desecration of God’s Name’ Women of the Wall Demands Government Inquiry Into Violent Attacks at Western Wall
‘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
In empowering itself to decide who’s a Jew and who is less a Jew, the government is acting as a Vatican of the Jewish religion
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
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'
Ultra-Orthodox demands to pray at the Tomb of the Kings – the grandest burial compound in Jerusalem – have kindled fears among the French of an Israeli land grab under their flag in East Jerusalem
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
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
Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz approved the work even though committee member David Azoulay has never seen a draft version of the decision
An organization known as the Joint Committee for Preserving the Holiness of the Kotel has brought out large numbers of worshippers to the prayer space, in order to claim the territory as their own
'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
'There is no other historical city in the world that allowed a cable car to be built within the visual core of its historical heritage,' said renowned architect Moshe Safdie
Still not recognized as Jewish by Israel, three dozen members of the Abayudaya community celebrate their Judaism at the Western Wall in a unique way
Netanyahu has been under pressure to compensate non-Orthodox Jewish groups after the government canceled a deal granting them greater rights
We don't want them in the army in order to share the burden, we want them in the army so they can waste three years of their lives as well
His time at the Agency will probably be remembered more for what he didn’t accomplish than what he did, at the Western Wall and on Israel’s conversion policy
Rock of Ages Western Wall May Shed Stones but Will Stand for Thousands of Years, Archaeologists Reassure
A 100-kilogram rock fragment almost fell on a worshipper Monday. But while the structure is sound, experts warn about lack of proper site supervision
No one knows how the stone was dislodged, but Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich hypothesizes that it could have been due to moisture or plant growth
Controversial leader prays at one of Judaism's holiest sites, expresses interest in returning with family