Following the assassination attempt in Jerusalem of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Jerusalem Police Chief Moshe Edri ordered the closing of the Temple Mount to Jews and Arabs until further notice. The decision was taken due to intelligence assessments and security concerns at the site.
An increased number of police and border police will patrol Jerusalem on Thursday.
Aharonovitch called for calm and urged everyone, including politicians and public figures, not to incite the situation. Thursday, “will not be a simple day,” he said.
Early Thursday morning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Edri and Aharonovich and with the head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yoram Cohen. Netanyahu ordered that the highest priority should be given to capture those responsible for shooting Glick, and that security personnel should be significantly increased in the capital.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, 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 that 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,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. “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 that 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.
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat urged people not no to take the law into their hands and to allow the police to do its work and find those responsible in the shooting.
Economy Minister and head of Bayit Yehudi Naftali Bennet said the assassination attempt on a public activist in the heart of Jerusalem crossed a bloody red line. "Security is not brought about by talking but rather by actions, and I call on the prime minister to return Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem immediately," Bennett said.
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said following the shooting, "I am praying for the full recovery of Yehuda Glick. The bullets fired at him tonight were directed at all the Jews that want to exercise their Jewish and moral right to visit the most holy place to the Jewish people and to pray at the Temple Mount."
"I call on the prime minister to immediately allow every Jew to freely go to the Temple Mount, and to act with an iron fist against the criminals responsible for this deed," he charged.
Deputy Minister for Religious Services and Bayit Yehudi MK Eli Ben-Dahan, who spoke at the conference that Yehuda Glick attended before he was shot, expressed his shock following the incident.
"I am shocked that just a few minutes after giving my speech this evening at the conference organized by Yehudah Glick that such a terrible thing has happened," Ben-Dahan said.
"I spoke of the loss of control of the Israel police and the loss of personal security in Jerusalem and just a few minutes afterwards an assassination was attempted in the heart of Jerusalem," he added.
Ben-Dahan called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to impose order immediately and to restore security and sovereignty to the capital.
Likud MK Miri Regev said that it was unacceptable that a Jew becomes an assassination target just for fighting for something that he believes in.
"A failure to struggle for the right of Jews to live in peace in Jerusalem will result in murderous Palestinian terror across Israel," Regev said.