YEHUDA Meir Getz, the rabbi of Judaism's Wailing Wall for the last 27 years, has died at age 71 after a heart attack. He was buried on the Mount of Olives.
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He became rabbi at the Wailing Wall -- a remnant of the wall of the biblical Temple site -- after its capture by Israel with the rest of East Jerusalem's walled Old City in the 1967 Middle East War with Egypt.
Thousands attended the funeral, The Jerusalem Post said Getz had tried to please both ultra-religious Jews who viewed the wall as sacred and Israeli masses who viewed it as a national monument.
Getz immigrated from Tunisia in 1949, settling in Galilee, northern Israel. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Israeli Army. After his son was killed fighting for the wall in the 1967, Getz moved to the Old City where he later becamerabbi of the wall and holy sites nearby.