A rabbi who is leading the effort to open up Jerusalem’s Temple Mount — known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sancutary — to Jewish worshippers has reportedly been shot in Jerusalem. Ha’aretz is reporting that Yehuda Glick was shot in the chest after an event at Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
When reached for comment, Micky Rosenfeld, a detective and spokesperson for Israel’s police forces, confirmed “an attempted shooting outside the Begin Center,” but would not confirm the victim’s identity. He said that the victim, a man in his 50s, is in “serious condition.” He added that roadblocks were being set up “all over Jerusalem” to find the shooter or shooters, who escaped by motorbike.
Though Rosenfeld could not confirm the victim’s identity, a Twitter user tweeted out a flier for a talk that Glick was to deliver at the Begin Center tonight:
Ever since Israel took the Temple Mount from the Jordanian military during the 1967 Middle East War, the country’s government has exerted close to an outright ban on organised Jewish prayer there. The area is the former site of the ancient Jewish Temple and is considered the holiest location in the faith; however, many Jews believe that they are actually prohibited from praying or even setting foot there until the Temple’s restoration and the coming of a messianic era.
To Muslims, the Mount is the Haram al-Sharif — the “Noble Sanctuary,” site of Mohammad’s ascent to heaven and the third-holiest site in their faith. It is currently home to large Islamic complex that dates to the 7th century, and includes such icons as the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.
In recent years, right-wing religious nationalist Jews have attempted to assert a Jewish right to worship at the site — and have been met with opposition from their own government, which realises the issue could inflame the region’s sizable Muslim population. The Israelis have reportedly banned Glick from the Temple Mount.
The attack comes after an unusually tense week in Jerusalem. On October 22, two people were killed when a Hamas-linked individual rammed a car into a light rail station in the city, and there have been ongoing clashes in and around the Temple Mount over alleged Israeli limits on Muslim access to the site.
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