by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) Shortly after 11 AM not far from the Old City of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate, an Arab terrorist grabbed the gun of a guard in a building belonging to Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim. The Arab managed to shoot at the legs of the guard, while another guard opened fire and killed the Arab. Nine other passersby were hurt in the incident as well, some by bullet grazings and others as they fell while running away. The guard and two passersby sustained moderate wounds.
The wounded were taken to two Jerusalem hospitals. Details of the incident were not immediately made clear, and reports of stabbing victims were circulating for a short while afterwards.
Ateret Cohanim, headed by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, was founded in 1978 in what is known as the Moslem Quarter in the heart of the Old City. It is located in the historic Torat Chaim Yeshiva on HaGai St., just opposite the Temple Mount.
In its best years, the prestigious Torat Chaim Yeshiva had about 300 students from all over the world, including the late Rabbis Tzvi Pesach Frank, Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Yitzchak Herzog and Aryeh Levin. It was founded in 1886 by Rav Yitzchak Winongrad of Poland. The yeshiva was forced to disband in the wake of the 1936 Arab riots, and the building and its contents were entrusted to an Arab watchman who faithfully preserved it until the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. The yeshiva was the only one of some 80 synagogues and yeshivot that was not destroyed by the Jordanians during their 19-year control of the Old City.
Ateret Cohanim is now home to some 150 yeshiva students and also spearheads the return of Jews to their homes in the Moslem and Christian Quarters. Many of the students live in dormitories, apartments or small homes in these areas.