JERUSALEM (JTA) — The man police say was responsible for shooting a Temple Mount activist was killed at his eastern Jerusalem home in a shootout with police.
Israel Police surrounded the home of the suspect, identified as Muataz Hijazi, an operative for the Islamic Jihad terror group, on Thursday morning and returned fire after being shot at, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Hijazi spent 10 years in Israeli prison for past involvement in terror activities and was released in 2012.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack on Rabbi Yehuda Glick, saying it was in retaliation for recent conditions in Jerusalem.
Glick, who is also an American citizen, was shot three times Wednesday night in the chest and stomach by an assailant on a motorcycle who fled the scene. He remains in serious condition at Shaarey Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he underwent surgery following the attack.
Jonathan Halevy, the hospital’s director-general, said Thursday that Glick’s life is still in danger.
Glick heads the Temple Mount Faithful organization, which advocates building a Third Temple on the holy site. Before the shooting, he spoke at a conference at the Begin Center dealing with Jewish rights at the Temple Mount. He reportedly had received several threats on his life in recent weeks.
Likud lawmaker Moshe Feiglin also spoke at the conference and offered an account of the Glick shooting in a Facebook post.
Glick, Feiglin said, “walked outside to his car. There was a motorcyclist with his helmet on standing there. He turned to Yehuda in a thick Arabic accent and said, ‘Yehuda, I am angry at you,’ and then shot him three times point blank.”
Hijazi was employed in the restaurant located inside the center and reportedly checked what time Glick would be finished speaking.
Israeli security forces are investigating whether it was Hijazi who shot Israeli soldier Chen Schwartz in Jerusalem near Mount Scopus in a July attack on the same day as a tractor attack on the border between eastern and western Jerusalem. Hijazi at the time was working at a restaurant near the attack site.
According to Ynet, Hijazi said upon his release from prison, “I’m glad to be back in Jerusalem. I hope to be a thorn in the Zionist plan of Judaizing Jerusalem.”