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Israel must explain lack of access to key holy site, court says

Israel's Supreme Court has given the government a month to explain why it prevents women from praying from a Torah scroll at a key Jewish holy site.

In the court's ruling, it also suggested that an alternative site for women to pray at Jerusalem's Western Wall was insufficient and ordered that searches of visiting women be halted.

Israel's government agreed in January to create an equal prayer site after three years of negotiations between Jewish liberal groups, ultra-Orthodox leaders and the government.

But the site was never established, with liberal groups accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of caving to pressure from two ultra-Orthodox parties in his coalition.

The groups accuse the government of violating the right to equality and freedom of worship by not implementing its decision.

AP

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