IDF '67 Veterans to Join Women of the Wall at Prayer Service

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Israel army paratroopers who liberated the Western Wall during the 1967 Six Day War will be joining Women of the Wall at the organization’s monthly prayer service on Monday morning, it announced Saturday.

“These Israeli heroes overwhelmingly agree that they must stand with Women of the Wall, as we continue to liberate the Kotel,” Women of the Wall announced on its Facebook page.

It did not say how many paratroopers would be joining them or provide any names.

Women of the Wall is an organization that holds a prayer service at the Western Wall on the first day of each Jewish month. In recent months, its members have clashed with police, who have detained them for wearing prayer shawls and for praying out loud at the wall.

News of these incidents, which reverberated around the Jewish world, prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month to announce his intention to revisit government policy regarding prayer at the wall. Netanyahu instructed Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky to present recommendations for resolving the ongoing controversy.

In wake of recent incidents, Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall sent a letter to the Israel Police last week urging its officers to refrain from into physical contact with the women who pray at wall, saying that “contact between men and women, especially when forceful, is a serious violation for the religious women.”

Women praying by the Western Wall, Jerusalem, November 2012.Credit: Emil Salman

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