The suspect police believed attempted to assassinate Rabbi Yehuda Glick outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center Wednesday night was killed after exchanging gunfire with police at his east Jerusalem home Thursday morning.
According to police, the suspect, 32-year-old Islamic Jihad member Moataz Hejazi, was released from an Israeli prison two years ago, was found at his home in Abu Tor after an intensive police manhunt.
“Counter-terrorism operations surrounded the house of the suspect, and as soon as officers took their positions they were fired upon by the him,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. “Shots were immediately returned by police killing the suspect.”
Rosenfeld said a subsequent raid of the suspect’s home revealed evidence that he was indeed responsible for Glick’s shooting.
Heightened security measures are expected in east Jerusalem following the shooting to contain possible rioting, Rosenfeld said.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who holds dual US and Israeli citizenship and is the spokesman for the Joint Committee of Temple Organizations – was in serious condition after being shot in front of the capital’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center Wednesday night.
According to police, the shooting took place at approximately 10:30 p.m. outside the memorial center, located near the Old City by a suspect riding a motor bike who fled the scene.
Glick, who has a long history of advocating for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount, spoke Wednesday evening at the Begin Center alongside MKs Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, Moshe Feiglin and Miri Regev at an event titled “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount.”
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) who was with Glick, said a motorcyclist drove up to Glick as he put posters from the event in his car and asked if he was Yehuda Glick. When Glick affirmed his identity, the motorcyclist shot him and fled.
“Shots were fired and the victim was rushed to an area hospital in serious condition,” police spokesman Rosenfeld said. “Special patrol units are searching the area for the suspect and we are investigating the background of the incident.”
“It was an assassination attempt,” a Jerusalem city official said. “This is very serious.”
The victim was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Professor Jonathan Halevy, director-general of Shaare Zedek said Glick underwent surgery for wounds in the chest and the stomach.
"His situation at this moment is stable but his life is still at risk," Halevy said. He added that Glick has lost a lot of blood and had been given many transfusions.
Glick’s father Shimon who is in the hospital awaiting results of the surgery told the media, “Everyone who reads Facebook and newspapers knows his life had been threatened. “Because he is a red head and tall, he stands out,” Shimon said.
“I am hoping that he will recover and continue his work,” he said.
Following the shooting attack, Police Chief Yohanan Danino ordered the police readiness level raised to the second highest level in every district nationwide.