Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the Western Wall Plaza Sunday evening, lighting the candles to mark the first night of the Hanukkah festival.
The event was hosted by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, and Mordechai Eliav, the CEO of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Ahead of the ceremony, Bennett toured the Western Wall tunnels, including the soon-to-be reopened ‘Great Causeway’ (also known as the 'Great Bridge Route'), which has yet to be cleared for visits by the general public. The Second Temple-period causeway was used by pilgrims visiting the Temple to ascend the Temple Mount.
Prime Minister Bennett toured the area, visiting remnants of rooms from the Second Temple period and inspecting artifacts from that era.
Earlier on Sunday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where he lit the Hanukkah candles at a ceremony hosted by Hebron Jewish community head Rabbi Hillel Horowitz and Kiryat Arba local council leader Eliyahu Liebman.
The event was attended by local rabbis, IDF and Israel Police commanders, local residents, and yeshiva and ulpana students
The president was accompanied by Shai Abramson, Chief Cantor of the Israel Defense Forces, who took part in the candle-lighting ceremony Sunday evening.
Left-wing demonstrators gathered to protest Herzog’s visit, but were barred by police from approaching the Tomb of the Patriarchs.