Five Jewish women have been arrested at Jerusalem’s sacred Western Wall for wearing prayer shawls and praying out loud in defiance of a court order forbidding them to do so.
Under Israeli law women are permitted to pray at the Western Wall, but only in silence.
The activists belong to a group called the ‘Women of the Wall’ and are engaged in a campaign to win the right to perform the same rituals as men at Judaism’s most religious site.
Tamar Zandberg, a member of the Knesset who supports the women’s action, said: “I think that this implies more than anything the real intentions of the Israeli government and they are to be denied equal prayer rites in a pluralist place.”
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men say that women should not pray out loud in public because their voices are provocative. Those men praying at the site tried to drown out the women by praying at a much louder volume than usual.