Israeli Activist Shot, Wounded in Jerusalem, Police SayCalev Ben-David
A prominent Jewish-nationalist activist was shot and wounded in Jerusalem by an assailant who fled on a motorcycle, according to police and witnesses.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat appealed for calm after the shooting late yesterday, expressing concern the incident could incite further violence in the city, which has seen weeks of unrest in its Arab neighborhoods.
The victim was Yehuda Glick, who headed a group that advocated for Jewish sovereignty over the Jerusalem holy spot known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Arabs as Haram Sharif. It has been the site of repeated clashes over the past few months between Palestinians and Israeli security officers.
Moshe Feiglin, a parliament member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Israel Radio he was at the scene of the shooting after attending a meeting with Glick at the Begin Heritage Center near Jerusalem’s Old City. Feiglin said the shooter called out Glick’s name before firing at him.
Police said they are pursuing all lines of investigation, and are sweeping the area.
“This incident is the result of continual incitement, which is the source of the problem and has to be dealt with,” Barkat said in comments broadcast on Israel Radio. “I call on everyone not to take the law into their own hands.”
The shooting comes after weeks of disturbances in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, including the hurling of stones and firebombs at cars driven by Jewish residents. The violence turned deadly last week when a Palestinian resident of the city drove a car into a crowd at a streetcar stop, killing two people.
Palestinian leaders say the violence is being driven by the failure of peace efforts, Jewish settlement of homes in the city’s Arab neighborhoods, and efforts to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, or Haram Sharif.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday held an emergency session to discuss the tensions in the city, after a Palestinian initiative. The UN doesn’t recognize Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem, captured by the Jewish state in 1967 along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Additional security forces have been deployed in Jerusalem over the past week to counter the increasing violence, which Israel blames on Islamic extremists. Officers have been put on heightened alert across the country to deal with any disturbances spurred by the Jerusalem shooting, according to a text message from the police.