(photo credit: TAZPIT)
Four Arabs were arrested for rioting in east Jerusalem Monday. Meanwhile, Yehudah Glick’s condition slightly improved following additional surgery amid denials by police that it ignored previous threats against the activist’s life.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the arrests took place in Wadi Joz, a flashpoint Arab neighborhood, after dozens of masked assailants hurled rocks at police Monday morning.
No injuries were reported, Rosenfeld said.
Meanwhile, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center said they were “somewhat more optimistic” about Glick’s recovery after performing surgery to repair his intestines, which were severely damaged when he was shot four times last week.
The operation was performed by a team headed by general surgery department head Prof.
Petachia Reissman, who said that there has been slow, gradual improvement in the 49-yearold’s condition.
Reissman added that his team hopes to wean Glick off his respirator and anesthesia so he will be conscious and able to communicate in the next few days.
As Glick’s condition slowly improves, police on Monday denied reports that they ignored numerous death threats against the activist, who has long led the campaign for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount.
However, while Israel Police chief Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino has claimed that officers did not know of specific threats against Glick, a damning recording played on Israeli radio Monday proved otherwise.
In an audio tape played by Galei Yisrael radio’s Kalman Libeskind of a conversation between Glick and Jerusalem Police’s David Precinct commander, Cmdr. Avi Bitton, two months ago, it is clear that police indeed knew of imminent threats against him.
During the recording, in which Glick complained of chronic threats against him by Arabs for ascending the contested holy site, Bitton can be heard acknowledging the threats and advising the activist to “avoid getting hurt.”
“You’ve been warned to avoid getting hurt,” Bitton said, adding: “We did, after all, have some intelligence information that someone wants to hurt you.”
When Glick said that “it’s as if they threaten my life daily,” Briton blithely replied: “Like everywhere in Israel.”
Moreover, Bitton went on to inform Glick that police met with suspects who issued threats against him. The suspects said that “It bothers us that Yehudah Glick goes up into the Mount four to five times a day. We see it as a provocation.”
At this point, Glick’s friend, Ya’acov Haneman, who accompanied him to the police meeting, can be heard warning Bitton of an imminent escalation of violence.
“If you do not prevent the Arabs from continuing to ratchet up their violence against us, they could pull a knife at some stage – do more serious things – reaching a situation that you don’t even want to arrive at,” Haneman said.
After the incriminating recording surfaced, police issued a statement Monday conceding that it received nearly 20 threats against Glick over 20 years, but that none of them were “life threatening.”
“Following various reports regarding complaints filed by Yehudah Glick to police, we would like to clarify that an examination conducted by the district police identified 16 complaints filed by Glick between the years 1995 and 2014 with respect to various offenses,” police said. “None of the complaints referred to threats on his life.”
In June, police brought to Glick’s attention a threat of “harassment” should he continue to visit the holy site.
“However, it was made clear to him that the police will continue to accompany him on his visits to the Temple Mount and would arrest the suspects who threatened him,” police said.
Following Glick’s shooting outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center by a convicted Islamic Jihad terrorist, Glick’s father said his son warned police of threats against his life on at least five occasions, and that none were taken seriously.Judy Siegel contributed to this report.