Israel backs ruling for Jewish women’s prayer

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s attorney general says he will not appeal a court ruling permitting a liberal Jewish women’s group to pray freely at a Jerusalem holy site.

An Israeli court instructed police last month to stop detaining women for performing religious rituals and wearing garb that Orthodox Judaism reserves for men.

The “Women of the Wall” movement has been trying for decades to break Orthodox control on prayer at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

Orthodox rabbis, who control Israeli religious institutions, argued the women break regulations forbidding religious ceremonies that go against “local custom.”

The Justice Ministry said Tuesday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein would not appeal.

In another victory for liberal Judaism, Israel’s prime minister has signaled he will support a new, mixed-gender prayer area at the site.

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