Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday ‎removed Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev from ‎her position as head of the Ministerial Committee ‎for Holy Places in an effort to facilitate a planned expansion ‎of the mixed-gender prayer plaza at the Western Wall ‎in Jerusalem, which Regev opposes.

The expansion is part of Israel’s attempt to resolve ‎the deep dispute between the government and non-‎‎Orthodox streams of U.S. Jewry over the issue of ‎‎mixed-gender prayer at the holy site. The dispute was triggered by ‎the government’s decision to cancel a plan to build a ‎new egalitarian prayer plaza at the Western Wall. ‎ ‎

Regev had refused to convene the ‎committee to discuss the expansion plans, saying her ‎‎“conscience would not allow” her to do so.

‎“In the last few months, I have been thinking it over, ‎but my conscience would not allow me to do it,” she ‎posted on Facebook.‎ ‎

“I could not confirm the Western Wall plan in a ‎manner that would have harmed the world order. The ‎Reform Jews’ demand to turn the Western Wall into a ‎place where women and men pray together is ‎unacceptable to me and to the heritage of the people ‎of Israel.

‎“I decided to be loyal to my conscience. Therefore, I informed the prime minister that I do ‎not intend to approve the Western Wall plan by ‎virtue of my authority as head of the Committee for ‎Holy Places. Everyone is allowed to visit the ‎Western Wall and pray there as long as they respect ‎the site and its heritage.‎ We did not return to the holiest of our sites in ‎order to desecrate it. I have faith and hope that we ‎will preserve and honor the sanctity of the Western ‎Wall.”

Sources at the Culture and Sports Ministry said ‎Netanyahu had discussed the move with Regev in advance, and she had agreed to the change. ‎

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) ‎and Religious Services Minister David Azoulay (Shas) ‎are also members of the Ministerial Committee for ‎Holy Places; it remains unclear whether Netanyahu ‎plans to tap one of them to oversee the expansion ‎plans. ‎