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The Boston Globe

World

Ultra-orthodox protesters mob women praying in Israel

JERUSALEM — Heeding calls from their rabbis, thousands of ultra-Orthodox women and teenage girls flooded the Western Wall on Friday morning to prevent close access by a group of women who pray in garments traditionally used by men, while hundreds of black-hatted Orthodox men heckled the group from behind, whistling, catcalling, and throwing water, candy, and a few chairs at them.

Scores of uniformed police locked hands in cordons to protect the group of about 100 women from Women of the Wall, in a standoff that exemplified the broad battle in Israel on identity and religion in the public sphere, where holy sites and rites such as marriage, divorce, and conversion have for decades been controlled by the ultra-Orthodox minority, known as Haredim.

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