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Rabbi Decries Western Wall Security Cameras

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and woman pray on either side of a fence at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, 15 Dec 2010

A century-old rabbi has declared Israel's Western Wall off-limits to Jews on their holiest day of the week because he says security cameras at the holy site are desecrating the Sabbath.

Yosef Shalom Eliashiv says that use of the closed-circuit surveillance cameras violates the Jewish practice of refraining from operating electronics on the weekly holy day. A rabbi overseeing religious activities at the wall says talks with Jerusalem police are under way to find a compromise.

The 100-year-old rabbi is highly revered among ultra-Orthodox Jews. His opinion has wide influence among them.

The Western Wall is at the base of a compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which is Judaism's holiest site.

Muslims also consider the compound one of their holiest sites, calling it the Noble Sanctuary.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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