Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Stone from Jerusalem's Western Wall crashes into prayer area

Stone from Jerusalem's Western Wall crashes into prayer area

The IAA pointed to several factors that may have caused the boulder to fall, including vegetation growing in the wall that dislodged the massive stone and moisture. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque are located above the Western Wall.

"This is a wake-up call - we must check the entire Western Wall, both parts, so that heaven forbid there is no disaster in the future", Yitzhar Hess, the head of the Masorti movement, tweeted, along with footage of the stone falling.

"A great miracle occurred when a stone. fell near the worshipper and did not hurt her", Barkat said in a statement. "We don't know exactly why this thing happened".

Israel's Orthodox religious establishment restricts men and women from praying together in the main section of the wall. "Once the Antiquities Authority's maintenance work is completed, the order will be removed and the plaza will return to the routine that has been customary until now".

"The reason that can cause this is ageing, plants, wetness, water that seeps into the stones".

A stone that fell off the Western Wall in Jerusalem can be seen near the wall in Jerusalem's Old City, July 23, 2018.

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"It is a long process of dampness in a crack that we can not tell what caused it. But, it can be that it may continue to other stones".

"I wish that everybody could have a builder who would construct such buildings that a stone falls only after 2,000 years", he said.

The smaller of the section's platforms, on which the stone fell, was closed until further notice.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of Jewish worshippers thronged the main, gender-segregated Western Wall esplanade for annual prayers mourning the razing of the biblical-era temples. It is built near piles of boulders believed to date to the time of the Second Temple.

Women of the Wall is a group campaigning for the right for women to lead prayer services in the women's section of the main Western Wall plaza, which now adheres to Orthodox rules permitting only men to lead services.

A 2014 study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem charted erosion in the different kinds of limestone that make up the Western Wall and said it a problem for engineers concerned about its stability.

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