(CNN) - Barack Obama departed Israel early Thursday after a pre-dawn visit to one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites, the Western Wall.
Under tight security, Obama arrived at a section of the Wall that had been cordoned off at 5:11am local time. While the visit had not been announced in advance, dozens of people were waiting in the darkness for his arrival.
Obama, wearing a white yarmulke, walked towards the site with the Rabbi of the Wall. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich read Psalm 122, and he and Obama looked through a Holy Book on a stand. Obama placed a note written before he arrived in the Wall, following a custom of visitors to the sacred site. Obama then bowed his head and placed his hand on the Wall for a few moments.
CNN producer Sasha Johnson, a pool reporter for the brief visit, reports a man screamed “Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale” throughout the event despite pleas from the crowd for him to stop.
Obama shook hands with some in the crowd as many reached out to him as he departed. He then went by motorcade to the airport in Tel Aviv, where he took off for Berlin.