Advocate for freedom of prayer for Jews on the Temple Mount proposes joint prayer session with Muslims following the death of eight Bedouin women in a road accident.
In the wake of a traffic accident that killed eight Israeli Bedouin women and injured scores of others, controversial figure Rabbi Yehuda Glick has called for a joint Jewish-Muslim prayer session on the Temple Mount.
Glick, executive director of Haliba, the initiative for Jewish freedom on the Temple Mount, and chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, was shot in the chest after delivering a speech at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem last October, advocating equal rights for Jews on Judaism’s holiest site. He survived the assassination attempt, albeit after multiple surgeries and weeks of hospital care. He is now running for election on the Likud Party list in the 33rd spot.
Glick issued the call for joint prayer on Tuesday night through his Facebook page following a deadly traffic accident on Tuesday on Route 31 in the Negev Desert. A truck collided with a bus that was transporting dozens of Bedouin women home after a day of prayer at the al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. According to medics from Magen David Adom (MDA, Israel’s Red Cross), all eight casualties were grandmothers in their 50s and 60s from the village of Hura, northeast of Beersheba. They were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident after MDA efforts at resuscitation failed. Another 28 of the more than 30 women injured were transferred to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, most of whom were released in the evening. Both drivers are still being questioned by police.
“As true tribute to people of faith, I call on the Jews who will ascend the Temple Mount tomorrow to pray for healing for the injured from today’s accident. I would even propose to do a joint a prayer with the Muslims on the Mount. It is clear to me that there are Muslims who would be happy to join in,” Glick declared, adding his suggestion to use “the north of the Mount, such that everyone will pray [facing] the same direction.”
Despite the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967 by the IDF, the Temple Mount remains under the administration of the Jordanian Waqf (Muslim Trust). Current Israeli law bars Jews from praying at the holy site, which includes the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, due to a history of Muslim violence. Glick argues that this policy amounts to religious discrimination.
By Lauren Calin, United with Israel