Pal. Authority Chair Calls for Jerusalem 'Day of Rage'
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Much-needed winter rains are falling in Jerusalem Friday, following a good soaking Thursday in the north and along the coast. Meteorologists are predicting a rainy weekend.
The rainy weather may put a damper on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's call to observe a "day of rage" on Friday to defend the al-Aksa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, reported by the Palestinian Media Watch.
Israel Police closed the site following Wednesday night's attempted assassination of Rabbi Yehuda Glick at Jerusalem's Begin-Sadat Center. Abbas called the closure a "declaration of war."
Israeli authorities reopened the site to accommodate Friday's Muslim prayers, limiting entry to men over 50 and women of any age.
Glick's would-be assassin, a 32-year-old Islamic Jihad member, shot the rabbi in the chest at point blank range before fleeing on a motorcycle. Israeli security personnel tracked him down, where he was killed in a firefight after opening fire on the officers.
Fatah members celebrated the shooting and declared the terrorist a "heroic martyr."
Glick serves as chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, an organization seeking to educate the public on the history of the Temple Mount and its centrality in Jewish life.
The foundation works toward equal rights for Jews to pray at the site where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood.
The rabbi remains in stable but critical condition at a Jerusalem hospital.
Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki told reporters the United States wants to see a return to the status quo at the Temple Mount, which she referred to by its Arabic name, Haram al-Sharif, saying in so many words the administration supports limiting prayer to Muslims. Click here to read Thursday's press briefing.
The Wakf, the Islamic Trust responsible for the day-to-day administration of the contested site, only allows Muslims to pray there. Israel is responsible for maintaining security on the Temple Mount, which has become increasingly challenging in view of the Fatah-Hamas unity government's incitement to violence.
A poster displayed by one of the P.A. chairman's advisers read, "Fatah's Jerusalem branch accompanies its heroic martyr to his wedding, Mutaz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who carried out the assassination attempt of Zionist Rabbi Yehuda Glick," PMW reported.
Last week, the same adviser praised the terrorist who ploughed into a group of Israelis waiting for the light-rail, killing a 3-month-old infant with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and an Israeli woman, whom doctors were unable to save.