Israeli court tells police to stop detaining women performing prayer rituals at holy site

An Israeli court has instructed police to stop detaining women for performing religious rituals that ultra-Orthodox Jews say are reserved for men.

Members of a liberal women's Jewish group have been trying to break the Orthodox monopoly at the Western Wall in Jerusalem by conducting mixed-gender prayer and wearing religious garb.

The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray. It is currently divided into men's and women's sections.

Orthodox rabbis, who control Israel's religious institutions, oppose mixed-gender prayers.

In a ruling on Thursday, a Jerusalem court said the woman were not disturbing the peace with their prayer and saw no justification for detaining them.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently gave preliminary support to a compromise plan to create a new section for mixed-gender prayers.