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Israeli Cabinet Approves Western Wall Elevator To Improve Handicap Access

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan on Sunday to build an elevator from Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall that would allow more accessibility for handicapped people to the holy site.

The elevator and a pedestrian tunnel at its foot is estimated to cost $14 million.

The Ruderman Family Foundation praised the decision to build the elevator and make the Western Wall more accessible to people with disabilities.

“The Government of Israel made the right decision today to make Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, accessible to people with disabilities by voting to build an elevator and passageway,” Ruderman Family Foundation president Jay Ruderman said in a statement. “For far too long, these ever-important sites were not completely accessible for people with disabilities, who account for twenty percent of the population. This decision will now ensure freedom to worship for all.”

The Cabinet’s weekly meeting was held in the Western Wall tunnels to mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

They also discussed the construction of a cable car to the Dung Gate near the Western Wall in the Old City from the center of the city, and approved a five-year budget to develop the area around the Old City and to improve health, culture, welfare and education services in the city.

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