2 men attack Western Wall worker who stopped them bringing women to male section
Employee taken to hospital after being hit in the face; police bring suspects in for questioning
Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.
An employee of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation was physically attacked by two men who tried to bring women with them into the men’s section of the site on Thursday evening, the organization said.
In accordance with mainline Orthodox practice, the main plaza of the Western Wall in Jerusalem is gender-segregated, with a large men’s section and a smaller women’s section.
According to the foundation, when the two men attempted to bring women to the men’s prayer section, the worker “explained to them that this was against the protocols of the site and the women were sent to the women’s section.”
The two men then “struck the worker in the face,” the foundation said. He was taken to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment.
Police officers took the two men in for questioning. “The investigation is ongoing,” a police spokesperson said.
Though there is often tension at the Western Wall and occasional protests over its gender segregation and restrictions on female prayer, the incident on Thursday night did not appear to be linked to those issues. A spokesperson for the foundation said she did not know why the men were trying to bring women into the men’s section.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation said it “laments and condemns this irregular and violent incident and wishes a speedy recovery to the worker who was fulfilling his assignment.”