Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, released from the hospital 25 days after a Palestinian tried to assassinate him, thanked both Arab and Jewish medical staff and said activists in Israel needed better protection.
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Before leaving Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Monday, Glick told reporters he also thanked God for his recovery. Glick was seriously wounded when Muataz Hijazi fired several bullets into him last month as he was leaving Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center after speaking at a conference on the Temple Mount.
On Monday he was still in a wheelchair; he looked thin and his voice was weak. But he is expected to make a full recovery.
“Four bullets hit my stomach cavity without hitting a single major blood vessel; a bullet hit my spinal column but skipped over it. A bullet hit my neck and missed the main artery,” he said.
“Just last week I underwent an operation on my hand and the surgeon told me I was lucky: Had the bullet struck two millimeters to the side it would have hit a bone instead of a nerve.”
Glick declined to discuss Temple Mount issues but said if he were healthier he should visit the mount and give thanks.
“Still, I want to say one thing that’s very significant for me. Everything I described, all the miracles, the whole staff, all produced a great success. But there must not be a working assumption that public activists in Israel are [sufficiently] protected,” he said.
“Something happened in Israel: A man who is a law-abiding public activist was shot because of his beliefs. The security forces must relate to this fact as if [the gunman] had succeeded. They must wake up and realize that public activists need protection.
Glick said he knew that many terror attacks had taken place nearby, but inside the hospital there was no discord.
“Prof. Firas [Abu Akar] who sewed up my chest, an intensive-care unit staffer named Mohammed who cared for me with great devotion – Jews and Arabs all serve side by side with the same dedication and the same enthusiasm,” he said.
“The terrorist who shot me told me, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m shooting you because you’re desecrating Al-Aqsa.’ But the person who shoots another person in the name of Al-Aqsa is the one who is desecrating Al-Aqsa, and the person who treats another person in the hospital is the one who is honoring Islam. The Muslim doctors and nurses who work in the hospital are the people who honor their religion, not the man who shot me.”
As Glick put it, “It’s not self-evident that I should be sitting here, alive, speaking like anyone else. I want to thank the Holy One, blessed be He, for this. I have believed for many years that the Holy One, blessed be He, gives communal divine protection to the community, not to the individual. But there are exceptions, and I was privileged to receive personal protection."