A well-known Israeli activist in favor of increased Jewish presence on the Temple Mount returned to the powder keg holy site Tuesday for the first time since he was the target of a 2014 assassination attempt.
Yehudah Glick, who advocates for Jewish prayer at the holy site, toured the esplanade with his wife and lawyer, and was surrounded by police, who were not informed of his visit ahead of time, according to Channel 2 news.
Last week, a court cleared the right-wing activist of accusations that he had pushed an Arab woman who then broke her arm. The court canceled an order keeping him away from the Mount.
Glick was shot and seriously hurt in October 2014 while leaving an event in Jerusalem where he had given a speech about allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. The Palestinian gunman approached the rabbi, and told him, “Yehudah, I’m sorry, but the things you said hurt me,” before shooting him. The attacker was later killed by police in a shootout.
Breaking: Rabbi Yehuda Glick returns to the Temple Mount for the first time since failed attempt on his life. pic.twitter.com/duS22fDtjd
— David Ha'ivri
Jews can currently visit the Temple Mount but are forbidden to pray there, for political and security reasons.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asserted numerous times in recent months that he does not wish to change this arrangement — the so-called status quo — which has been in place ever since Israeli troops captured Jerusalem’s Old City in the 1967 Six Day War.
“Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said on October 24, amid street violence which erupted over rumors Israel intended to allow Jewish prayer on the site.
مجددًا .. المتطرف يهودا غليك يقتحم الأقصى قبل قليل في استفزاز جديد لـ مشاعر المسلمين pic.twitter.com/6w4oQPQxJy
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) March 1, 2016
The compound, which housed the two Jewish Temples, is considered the holiest site in Judaism. It is also revered by Muslims, who refer to it as the Haram al-Sharif and believe it is the spot where the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.
Glick, who grew up in Brooklyn and immigrated to Israel with his family when he was 8, directs the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and is next in line to join the Knesset with the Likud party.
A maverick among right-wingers, he advocates partnering with religious Muslims to turn the Temple Mount into a place of prayer for all.