The Shin Bet security service increasingly believes that the man suspected of shooting right-wing activist Yehuda Glick did not act alone.
The agency surmises that Muataz Hijazi, the suspected shooter who was killed by Israeli police, planned the details of the assassination attempt. However, they believe it is likely an accomplice helped him perpetrate the attack on Wednesday.
The Shin Bet is investigating the possibility that the accomplice waited outside Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center for the conference about Jewish rights on the Temple Mount to end, and for its participants to exit.
Glick was shot in the chest and stomach by an assailant on a motorcycle who fled the scene. He remains in serious condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he underwent surgery following the attack.
Sources involved in the investigation said Thursday that twice over the last two years, Glick had complained to police about getting death threats, despite police claims to the contrary.
Police sources said that the Shin Bet is responsible for dealing with intelligence regarding Temple Mount activists. Glick's complaints may have been passed on to the security service without the police conducting any investigation -- which would explain why police had no information about the complaints.
By law, the Shin Bet is forbidden to share routine intelligence gathered from its sources with the police; it can do so only if it fears an imminent attack.
Senior security officials said on Thursday that the fact that Hijazi was employed at the Begin Center’s restaurant despite a history of terrorist activity mandates investigation. The restaurant is frequently patronized by senior politicians and other public figures. However, the Shin Bet said it does not handle security arrangements at events that the prime minister or other officials requiring security attend.
Hijazi from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor, was arrested in 2000, shortly after the second intifada began. He was charged with membership in a terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad, and violent rioting. He was initially sentenced to six years in jail, but while in prison, he assaulted a warden, leading to another trial and an additional five-year sentence.
After his release, he was interviewed by a Palestinian television station and said, “I’ll remain a thorn in the Zionist occupation’s throat.”
Israel Police surrounded Hijazi's home on Thursday morning and returned fire after being shot at, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
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