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Women Activists Held For Violating Ban At Jerusalem Western Wall

Police on Thursday arrested five women activists at Jerusalem's Western Wall for violating a ban on performing religious rituals traditionally reserved for men, media reports said.

The Western Wall, believed to be part of the Biblical Temple compound, has separate sections for men and women to pray. More than 100 women gathered inside their enclosure at the wall to pray on Thursday morning with five of them from the 'Women of the Wall' (WoW) movement wearing 'tallitot,' prayer shawls traditionally worn by Orthodox Jewish men. Men on the other side of the partition heckled the group and objected to the women wearing the shawls.

The detained women included WoW Director Lesley Sachs. The group have vowed to lead prayer services at the site every month until the ban was lifted.

Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shamuel Rabinowitz expressed regret over what he called the "provocation" of a group of women who wore tallitot while praying at the Western Wall which was in violation of a 2003 court order.

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