US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Monday took part in a Jewish religious ritual conducted at the Al-Buraq Wall (referred to by Jews as the “Western Wall”) in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
According to Israeli state radio, Friedman participated in the recitation of an annual Jewish prayer known as “Birkat Kohanima”.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is considered the world’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. Jews, for their part, claim the area was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
The Israeli authorities firmly control the area near the wall, where Jews perform prayers on a daily basis. Muslims, however, are barred from the area.
A staunch backer of the Jewish state, Friedman has made frequent statements in support of Israel’s long-standing policy of Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.