Several hundred people gathered in central Jerusalem’s Safra Square on Saturday night to pray for the recovery of Yehudah Glick, the far-right activist who was severely injured in an attempted assassination on Wednesday night, and to back Glick’s demands for the right to Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
Glick, who was hit at point blank range by four bullets, is in serious condition in Shaare Zedek Medical Center, but doctors Saturday said his condition was gradually improving.
His wife Yafa told the rally that “The Creator is waiting for us to ascend to Him at the Temple Mount,” the NRG Hebrew website reported, and that there had to be freedom of religious practice at the site. She also stressed that her husband was a peaceful activist who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Ignoring a plea from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his coalition colleagues to calm tensions surrounding the Temple Mount issue, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, who also spoke at the rally, announced that he would seek to enter the Temple Mount compound on Sunday morning. Feiglin was blocked from the area by police on Thursday.
Feiglin told the crowd that “nothing stirs up incitement more than the demand to stop going to the Temple Mount.”
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) told the rally that “the status quo on the Temple Mount will change.”
Israel has barred Jews from praying on the mount since capturing the Old City in the 1967 war. Glick was a leading advocate of Jewish prayer at the site of the biblical temples, while most Orthodox religious leaders believe Jews should not pray there, for fear of bringing impurity to the sacred area. Netanyahu has repeated several times in recent days that he does not intend to change the status quo.
Protesters at the rally carried a range of placards, some in solidarity with Glick, who was allegedly shot by a Palestinian, Mu’taz Hijazi, who was then killed by security forces during an attempted arrest operation early Thursday. “We are all Yehudah Glick,” read one placard.
Another sign declared: “Jewish blood cannot be spilled in vain.” A third read, “We are fighting for the Temple Mount with blood.”