Jerusalem Dept. Mayor: Fire Aharonovich

Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich visits hospital bedside of Yehuda Glick, calls to fire Internal Security Minister Aharonovich.

Hezki Baruch and Ari Soffer , | updated: 7:43 PM

Hamas rioter in Kalandia, outside Jerusalem
Hamas rioter in Kalandia, outside Jerusalem

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Dov Kalmanovich paid a visit to the hospital bedside of wounded Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick Saturday night, as he slowly recovers from serious gunshot wounds after an attempt on his life by an Islamist assassin last week.

Kalmanovich - a Jewish Home party representative on the Jerusalem city council, and himself a survivor of a serious terrorist attack during the Second Intifada which left him with life-changing injuries - took aim at Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) following his visit, accusing him of failing to crack down on violence in Jerusalem.

Kalmanovich recounted how just days before the near-fatal attack he had joined Glick in a stormy meeting with Aharonovich at the Knesset, over the ongoing violence against Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount.

"Only on Monday we sat together at a Knesset Interior discussion and cried out with MK Miri Regev (Likud) the cries of Jerusalem," Kalmanovich told Arutz Sheva.

The Deputy Mayor described Glick as a "national warrior" for the nation of Israel.

"After the assassination attempt his family has expanded - we are all a part of it now."

Relating to his own experiences as the first Israeli to be wounded during the Second Intifada, Kalmanovich added: "As a casualty of terrorism I feel a personal obligation to support (him)."

"I have no doubt that Yehuda will overcome and serve as a symbol," he continued. "Yehuda's legacy - in life - will be realized when he and us pray together as proud Jews on the Temple Mount."

Despite its status as Judaism's holiest site, Jews are banned from praying there by police under pressure from Islamist groups as well as the Jordanian government, whose Waqf Islamic trust has administrative control over the site. Jewish visits are tightly restricted and those suspected of praying are often arrested. Even those who do not pray are regularly subjected to abuse, intimidation and sometimes violence by Muslim worshipers.

Activists, including Gick, have long been campaigning for a change in the status-quo to allow Jews to practice their religion there freely - a campaign which nearly cost him his life last Wednesday.

Kalmanovich said police were finally preparing to crack down on harassment by Muslim extremists against Jews who visit the Mount.

"I heard that the police have decided to stop the disgrace whereby every time a Jew enters the Temple Mount plaza Arabs curse and hurl epithets. The police will act to eradicate the humiliation and disgrace which Jews endure every time they ascend the Temple Mount."

Relating to the topic of ongoing Arab violence in Jerusalem in general - which both Arab rioters and many Jewish residents are referring to now as an "intifada", but which authorities have insisted does not warrant the term - Kalmanovich was forthright.

"If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck," he said. "The Intifada in Jerusalem is visible. It cries out in every place and can be felt in every place."

He called on Yisrael Beytenu party leader Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to "draw the conclusion and dismiss Aharonovich from his post... after failing so blatantly. To this day the orders and conduct of the police have not (adequately) responded to what is going on on the ground."