Police have arrested a suspect thought to have aided the Islamic Jihad terrorist Mu'taz Hijazi, who last Wednesday in Jerusalem attempted to assassinate Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick and later was killed in a gunfight with security forces.
The suspect, who worked with Hijazi at the Terasa restaurant in the Begin Heritage Center where the shooting occurred, is believed to have passed Hijazi information that helped him plan his attack.
Hijazi drove up in a scooter and shot Glick four times from close range as he left an event at the Center on prayer rights at the Temple Mount. Despite being in critical condition, doctors have appraised that Glick will pull through the attack and only suffer minimal disability.
Hijazi's employment at the restaurant has raised many eyebrows, particularly given the fact that he was arrested for terrorism in 2000 during the Second Intifada and spent 11 years in jail - after his sentence was extended twice for assaulting guards - before being released in 2011.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqa on Thursday lauded the terrorist, saying "Hijazi was one of the heroes of the Palestinian prisoners' movement who defended freedom and dignity."
Calling the would-be murderer a defender of "freedom and dignity" is particularly ironic, given the fact that he shot Glick who has championed the effort to gain Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - where the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) has banned Jewish prayer and discriminated against Jewish visitors.
Dr. Ofer Merin, deputy director of Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem where Glick is undergoing intensive treatment, spoke last Friday as Glick underwent a second surgery to remove part of his intestine, after a surgery the day before removed part of his lungs.
"As times passes the danger decreases, he has great luck. The four bullets that punctured his body passed right by critical points, there was a hit on the lungs, a hit next to the spinal column, but damage was not inflicted on the spine," said Merin.
The doctor added that Glick likely will be left with minimal disabilities from the assassination attempt, saying "he apparently will be able to return to an almost fully normal lifestyle, but we aren't trying to jump to conclusions now."