(March 1, 2018 / JNS) The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has recently requested permits to expand the egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Prime Minister’s Office made the request, which was approved by the Jerusalem city engineers department without a committee hearing.
In early February, construction began to upgrade the egalitarian prayer section under the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office, which has invested NIS 19 million ($5.4 million) in the project.
According to the report, the permits requested will expand the size of the prayer area in accordance with the original plans laid out in a January 2016 Western Wall resolution, which was suspended last June by the Israeli Cabinet after political pressure from Netanyahu’s haredi coalition partners.
At the time, the suspension caused outrage among non-Orthodox Jewish groups in the United States, and a straining of ties between Israeli and Diaspora Jewish groups.
The report said that upgrades to the egalitarian prayer section are being carried out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to implement physical improvements to the site without other critical aspects of the agreement to appease non-Orthodox Jewish groups and the Israeli Supreme Court, The Jerusalem Post reported.