Visit to Western Wall is first by a senior British minister in 19 years


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Great Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid visited the Western Wall.

The visit is the first to the Western Wall by a senior minister of the British Government in 19 years, according to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which handles the visits.

Javid, who comes from a Muslim family, said during the visit that his father believed deeply in the connection between Jews and Muslims, and that his brother visited the Western Wall as a child. Javid said that his father and entire family were very excited about the pictures from the visit, according to a statement from the foundation.

He was accompanied on his visit by Mordechai Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, and the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, but not by any Israeli government officials.

He wore a black kippah and placed a note in a crack between two stones in the Western Wall.

Javid on Monday also visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, where he also prayed, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Britain’s Prince William visited the site a year ago; he is not a member of the country’s government.

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