The Damascus Gate (Sha'ar Shechem)
The Damascus Gate (Sha'ar Shechem)(Archive)

Rabbi Yechezkel Greenwald, father of four, is in Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital after being stabbed in the neck by an Arab terrorist near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday morning.

The 49-year-old Beit El resident is a teacher at the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. A student who was accompanying the rabbi reportedly fought off the terrorist, preventing the rabbi from being more seriously hurt.

Rabbi Greenwald was treated by Hatzalah-Ichud medics on the scene, and was evacuated to the hospital by a Magen David Adom ambulance. His condition improved as the hours passed, and by early afternoon he was reported to be in light condition. The Greenwald family has asked that people pray for Rabbi Yechezkel ben [son of] Zahava.

Terrorist’s Face Caught on Camera

Security cameras at the gate captured the attack on tape. The face of the terrorist was quickly isolated and distributed to police searching the area. 

Jerusalem police and IDF soldiers chase a suspect in the stabbing of a rabbi at the Damascus Gate Tuesday March 18, 2008

Yossi Zamir / Flash90

The Damascus Gate is the central open-air market in the area and is usually quite crowded.

Jewish residents of the Muslim Quarter – the largest part of the Old City -- have been instructed by police not to walk through the area without an armed guard.

Shortly after the attack, a suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

A suspect in the stabbing of a rabbi at the Damascus Gate is nabbed by Jerusalem police and IDF soldiers Tuesday March 18, 2008

Yossi Zamir/Flash90

Second Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem in Two Weeks

Tuesday’s stabbing was the second terrorist attack in Jerusalem in less than two weeks. Eight young students at the Merkaz HaRavYeshiva in Jerusalem were slaughtered in cold blood by an Arab resident of the Jabel Mukabar suburb in the eastern section of the capital. Eleven other students were wounded, and two of them are still hospitalized.

The murderer, Ala Abu Dheim, holds an Israeli ID card, as does his family, enabling them to move freely within pre-1967 Israel, including Jerusalem. They also are entitled to all Israeli benefits enjoyed by citizens of the Jewish State, with the exception of participating in national elections - as they chose not to accept official citizenship. The Abu Dheim family votes in PA elections instead.

Witnesses said the terrorist chased down the eight boys he murdered, shooting most of them in the yeshiva library at point-blank range after they had already been wounded. Bullet holes in the floor where they lay in a pool of blood attested to the truth of the account.

Closure in Judea and Samaria for Holiday Security

A full closure will be placed on the Palestinian Authority areas of Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, and will last until Monday. The closure covers the holiday of Purim, a three-day period this year, which starts Thursday evening.

The closure stems from intelligence information that terror attacks are being planned to coincide with the close of the 40-day Muslim mourning period for the Hizbullah terror organization’s second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh. Mughniyeh was assassinated in Syria. The 40-day mark is a favorite among terrorists for carrying out revenge attacks.

Israel's General Security Service (Shin Bet) also released a statement to the media warning of seven concrete threats of terrorist attacks over the Purim festival period. Police have already raised the terror alert in response to the information.

Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli-Arabs who live in Jerusalem will still be able to travel freely throughout the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Ezra HaLevi contributed to this report.