According to the Associated Press, dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshippers confronted Natalie Portman and her co-star, objecting to the couple kissing during the filming of a scene beside Jerusalem's Western Wall.

The incident Tuesday evening underlined the sensitivity of the site, a remnant of the biblical Jewish temples, the holiest place where Jews can pray.

The site is controlled by strictly observant Jews. Male and female worshippers are separated by a barrier perpendicular to the wall, following Orthodox Jewish rules forbidding casual contact between the sexes.

Police said they had to step in when worshippers spotted Portman and Israeli actor Aki Avni embracing and kissing as part of a scene for Free Zone. The daily Yediot Ahronot said ultra-Orthodox Jews charged the couple, shouting,

"Immoral, immoral!"

Police said they asked the actors to leave and return later, and they agreed.

The rabbi in charge of the site, Shmuel Rabinovitch, said that codes of conduct under religious and state law prohibit acting or romantic interaction near the wall.

"That code was not followed,"

he said.

The Israeli-born Portman, 23, has been studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in recent months.