Netanyahu calls for calm in Jerusalem

PM says MKs must act responsibly and with restraint with regards to Temple Mount

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, October 27, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, October 27, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called on all Knesset members to work to calm tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.

The prime minister spoke with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and asked for his assistance in reining in MKs on this issue and helping ensure they display responsibility and restraint, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The prime minister’s move came after right-wing activists and several MKs called for an en masse march Thursday to the Temple Mount as a response to the shooting of Rabbi Yehudah Glick Wednesday night at the hands of a Palestinian gunman.

The call prompted Israel, fearing violence, to issue a brief closure of the Temple Mount to Muslims and Jews, an order that was lifted Friday.

Meanwhile, the condition of Glick, the Temple Mount activist who was shot and seriously injured on Wednesday, improved over the weekend. His condition remained serious, however, and he was expected to undergo further surgery on Monday.

Glick was shot and seriously injured Wednesday by an assailant on a motorcycle upon leaving a conference in Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Center that dealt with promoting greater Jewish access to the Temple Mount. The shooter escaped, but was identified by police as Mu’taz Hijazi – who worked at the center’s cafeteria. Security forces killed Hijazi on Thursday morning in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood, saying he opened fire when they came to arrest him. Palestinians claim he was shot in cold blood

Police said they arrested a man who they claim may have assisted the alleged shooter. Like Hijazi, the man worked in the cafeteria at Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Center.

The shooting attack, which came on the heels of a series of events that have led to rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa, in the Old City, and adjacent neighborhoods have seen months of violence, and the mosque compound has been a rallying point for Palestinians.


Last week a Palestinian man drove a car into a crowded train platform located along the seam separating East and West Jerusalem, killing two. In the days following, Palestinians have clashed continuously with Israeli police in Arab neighborhoods of the capital. Israel responded to the rise in violence by increasing its police presence, deploying an additional 1,000 officers to the city.

AFP contributed to this report.

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