Right-wing Israeli rabbi and militiant activist Yehuda Glick was shot and injured at a rally in Jerusalem, this Wednesday evening, according to witnesses and Israeli police.Israeli media reported Glick to have been shot in his upper body at close range, during an event outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, where a number of Israeli members of the Knesset and right-wing activists were in attendance.
Ynet reported that, according to Jerusalem police, the shooter was on a motorcycle at the time of the incident, though details were still unclear.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Ma’an News Agency only that a ‘known right-wing activist’ had been shot.
The attack was reported following a conference, at the center, which focused on the reconstruction of a Jewish temple on top of al-Aqsa Mosque, with top right-wing Jewish officials and activists in attendance.
MK Moshe Feiglin was quoted by Ynet as saying: ‘The would-be killer turned to (Glick), confirmed in Hebrew with a thick Arab accent that this was indeed Yehuda and shot several bullets at him from point blank.’
‘What happened is horrible but very expected. Glick was constantly threatened. The fact that he was not assigned protection at all times is a failure. I say this as someone who is the target of constant incitement,’ Feiglin continued.
‘Weakness and incompetence were behind this attack. This was a relaxed conference, the room was half full. This was not an impassioned event. An Arab came there with the urge to kill.’
The incident comes amid increasing tension in Jerusalem over an expected Knesset vote to potentially divide the mosque compound — the third-holiest site in Islam — between Muslims and Jews, or else restrict Muslim worship at the site.
According to Ma’an, Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, an extremist Jewish organization focused on ‘strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount.’
He has, furthermore, been previously banned by Israeli authorities from entering the compound, due to provocations while on the site.
Critics charge that the Fund actually leads Jewish tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there — currently banned under Israeli agreements — and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.
See: 10/29/14 Israeli Violations Continue to Escalate in Occupied Territories for the most recent events.