Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement called on Palestinians to confront Israelis who are planning to enter the Temple Mount compound on Wednesday to protest the attempted assassination of activist Yehudah Glick last week.
The movement posted a notice on its official Facebook page Tuesday titled “call to arms” and directed at “all Jerusalem residents and Arab Israelis.” It warned of plans for a purported “consolidated storming of Al-Aqsa a week after the assassination attempt of the extremist rabbi Yehudah Glick.” The notice included a translation of a Hebrew poster which calls on Jews to flock to the Temple Mount Wednesday morning in a state of ritual purity and with no leather shoes, “for the sake and health of rabbi Yehudah Glick.”
“The terrorist sought to murder Yehudah and halt his blessed and vigorous activities for the return of Israel to the Temple Mount. We will not succumb to terror, we will not let terror win,” the poster declares.
Glick, who is still hospitalized in serious condition, is a leading advocate for Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, which has been forbidden by Israel since it captured the area in the 1967 war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had no intention of lifting that ban.
Several right-wing Knesset members visited the Temple Mount this week — including Jewish Home deputy Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who was physically assaulted at the site, and Likud’s Moshe Feiglin and Tzipi Hotoveli — despite appeals from Netanyahu to colleagues to calm tensions surrounding the contested area.
Two weeks ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas notified his Fatah party that he would take international legal action against Israel for its “vicious attack on Al-Aqsa.”
“We must stand as one against the attacks of settlers everywhere,” Abbas told members of his party from Jerusalem on October 17. “It is not enough for us to say ‘there are defenders.’ We must all be defenders in Al-Aqsa. Fatah must lead in this defense … it is not enough to say ‘the settlers have come.’ They’ve come, but they must not enter the sanctuary. We must prevent them from entering with all means possible. It is our Al-Aqsa and our churches, and they have no right to enter and defile them. We must stand with our bare breasts and protect our holy places.”
Fatah, as well as Islamic Jihad, has claimed responsibility for the attempt on Glick’s life by Begin Center employee Mu’taz Hijazi. Following his killing by Israeli security forces on October 30, Abbas sent a condolence letter to Hijazi’s family, referring to him as a martyr — a move that prompted bitter criticism from Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and others.
Fatah also announced on its Facebook page that it would receive condolences for Hijazi in Ramallah on Tuesday afternoon.