Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Palestinians Object to Natan Sharansky’s Compromise Plan for Western Wall

The Palestinian Authority objects to changing the configuration of the Temple Mount plaza in order to accommodate an egalitarian prayer area, a PA official said.

“Any change in the Temple Mount is unacceptable to the Palestinians or Arabs. It’s a change of our heritage site and I believe that such a change will push us toward a new conflict,” Mahmoud El Habash, PA Religious Affairs Minister, told Israeli reporters Thursday morning in Ramallah.

Under a plan proposed by the head of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, the Robinson’s Arch archeological site at the southern part of the Western Wall will be used as a permanent space for egalitarian prayer. Under the proposal, the Western Wall plaza would be expanded to encompass the additional prayer space. The two sections of the plaza, separated by the Mugrabi Bridge, would share a common entrance.

Sharansky was charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year with finding a solution to mounting tensions over women’s prayer at the Western Wall. After three months of consultations with a wide spectrum of Israeli and American Jewish leaders, Sharansky unveiled the proposal to Jewish leaders in New York in April.

“Any changes in this situation will make the problem more difficult,” Habash said Thursday, according to the Jerusalem Post. “We don’t agree to any changes. It’s a Wakf place, and Islamic place and we have documents to prove it. You can pray how you want after the liberation of Palestine.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.