Female journalists blocked behind male colleagues while covering Pence's Israel trip

Female journalists who traveled around the world to report on Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Israel this week were literally blocked from doing their jobs on Tuesday morning.

Instead of watching and snapping photos of Pence, who was praying at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, this is what they saw:

The women were led to a fenced off area behind their male colleagues, which obstructed their vantage point and prompted many to decry the segregation on social media with the hashtag #PenceFence.

Men and women are customarily separated during prayer at the Western Wall, which is under the authority of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

RELATED: Female journalists react to working behind 'Pence Fence' in Israel

Female journalists react to working behind 'Pence Fence' in Israel
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Female journalists react to working behind 'Pence Fence' in Israel
The view from behind the men, #PenceinIsrael #2018. #PenceFence https://t.co/WjofQODlLM
I guess people here are concerned I’m gonna grab a guy and kiss him or maybe force my female presence at him. Btw,… https://t.co/IUnRcFqj77
Women journalists are prevented from covering #Pence. We are kept separate from men & behind them. White House staf… https://t.co/r5fZ78aSiR
As Vice President Pence visits the Western Wall, male journalists are given the front-row spots. Female journalists… https://t.co/Q1k3aIzjII
The entire male press pool has their back to us, careless & free and don’t give a damn on the separation #PenceFence https://t.co/yRLUsQUO7X
And now I have a chair, looking at the male reporters who get the straight and better view than me, just because th… https://t.co/foJl5Fh3Xs
Nadir today was turning around to look at Karen Pence— the cameramen who had blocked our view of the entire Veep v… https://t.co/tHgFEOd5C4
When it's a bit hard to do your job / women journalists forced to stand behind the men at the separation fence at t… https://t.co/Ai9NxpQEze

“It was the same situation during President Trump’s visit to the Western Wall in May 2017,” the foundation said in a statement issued to The Washington Post. “We reject any attempt to divert the discussion from the important and moving visit of the U.S. Vice President and his wife at the Western Wall.” 

Tal Schneider, a political correspondent with business newspaper Globes, said she felt like “a second-class citizen” from behind the fence at the wall.

“I find it offensive,” she told HuffPost. “The discriminatory treatment of women is infuriating and inappropriate for a modern state [like] Israel.”

Reporter Noga Tarnopolsky called the situation “a disgrace.”

“I have covered many visits; this was an aberrant first,” she tweeted. 

The outrage adds tension to a visit already shadowed by controversy. Last month, President Donald Trump sparked massive protests and international condemnation when he officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ― a move that upended decades of American foreign policy and threatens to stall the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Pence also faced angry protests during his two-day trip in response to the contentious shift in U.S. policy.

The “Pence Fence” fiasco also came one day after a Finnish female journalist in Israel was reportedly strip searched and told to remove her bra during a security check, apparently as a result of her Palestinian descent. According to reports, she refused to comply and was barred from visiting the prime minister’s office to cover Pence’s arrival on Monday.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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