Western Wall and the Temple Mount
Western Wall and the Temple Mount Mati Amar/TPS

A senior government minister is pushing to deny control of the Western Wall Plaza to Jewish religious movements, and instead maintain state authority over the site, according to report by Kan.

According to the report Monday morning, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope), who also serves as Construction and Housing Minister, recently said in closed-door talks on the Western Wall reform plan that the Plaza must remain under state control, to be managed by the government and the Jewish Agency.

This marks a radical departure from the current Western Wall Plaza plan under consideration, which would formally grant significant control over the site to three Jewish denominations: Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative.

Under Elkin’s proposed modifications to the plan, the Plaza would remain undivided under the full administration of the state and Jewish Agency.

A number of coalition members have pushed recently for the government to implement the original plan, granting control to Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative leaders – a step widely seen as strengthening the Reform and Conservative movements, which hitherto have not received formal recognition from the government in Israel.

Ministers Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), Avidgor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), and Meirav Michaeli (Labor) have all urged the government to move forward with the existing reform plan.

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