JERUSALEM — Following outrage by female journalists forced to cover Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall last week from behind a separation fence, the rabbi of the Jewish holy site apologized to prominent Israeli reporter Tal Schneider.

But Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox Western Wall Heritage Foundation that runs the sacred site, indicated in a statement to The Washington Post that the situation would not change.

“The plaza is a place of prayer and a synagogue, separation between men and women will remain for every type of event,” the rabbi said. “This is the custom of the place and it will be preserved in the future as well.”

Rabinovitch did say, however, that efforts would be made to improve press coverage for future events but “without compromising the sanctity of the site and its customs.”

The Western Wall is the outer wall of the raised esplanade that is called the Temple Mount by Jews and al-Haram al-Sharif by Muslims. Under the authority of the foundation, the plaza is divided by gender, with men praying on one side of a barrier and women on the other.

For the Pence visit, the foundation set up two platforms side by side straddling the barrier. As Pence prayed on the men’s side, however, it was difficult for some of the female journalists to see above the cameras and microphones held by their male colleagues. The U.S. Embassy staff, who were managing the event, were forced to provide chairs for the female journalists to stand on so they could witness what was happening.

Upset by the unequal treatment, frustrated female journalists sent out a blitz of tweets, decrying the fact that women were relegated to the back in 2018.

On Monday, Schneider reported that her editor in chief had received a letter from Rabinovitch in which he expressed “regret for the anguish suffered.”