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Women hold prayer service at Kotel without incident

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(JTA) — Ten women from Women of the Wall held a public prayer service at the Western Wall without incident.

The service, during which the women sang and wore tallit prayer shawls and tefillin, was held Wednesday because an American supporter of the group was in town and would not be present for the next monthly service next week, according to Shira Pruce, a spokeswoman for Women of the Wall.

Participants from Women of the Wall gather at the beginning of each Hebrew month for a women’s Rosh Chodesh service at the Western Wall, usually drawing hundreds of women. In recent months, the women have been met with protesters throwing eggs, water, coffee and chairs. Last month, the group was barricaded far from the wall by police, who said the barrier was for the group’s protection.

“The disturbance of the peace and all the problems come from those who protest Women of the Wall, and the lack of police intervention with that,” Pruce told JTA. “If the police would stop the people disturbing the prayer, it would just be a prayer.”

Pruce said that Women of the Wall plans to pray adjacent to the Western Wall plaza for the service next week and will oppose any police barricade. In April, a Jerusalem district court ruled that the women’s service does not contravene the law.

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