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Police Minister visits Beit Yehonatan

Tuesday 31st January, 2012

Israel Police and Security Minister, Itzchak Ahronowitz, together with the top brass of theIsrael Police and Border Patrol Police from the Jerusalem District, paid a visit to Beit Yehonatan in the Shiloach.

Ateret Cohanim hosted both Ahronowitz, Nisso Schacham, Police Commander of Jerusalem District, and many other Government and police officials, in the building which is home to 7 Jewish families and a Kollel. They met with the Jewish families who have been under extreme fire and attacks over the last few years. The situation in the Shiloach, has been close to unbearable, with over 150 attacks per month on the families, building and security vehicles as it drives in and out of the Shiloach.
Police Commander Schacham took over the role a few months ago and has made huge strides in improving the security in the area, but today there are still about 50-60 incidents per month. These attacks include fire bombs(molotov cocktails), concrete blocks, appliances being thrust from buildings onto the security vehicles,  and paint bombs to blur the vision of the driver to cause accidents. The families even received permission from Rabbis to place a steel grid on top of their Sukkot for protection. Inspite of these precautions, two sukkot were still set on fire during the last chag.
Part of the police crackdown has included many arrests of local Arabs, some of whom have been given 6 years jail time for throwing firebombs hitting a Border Patrolman, the closing down in Silwan (Shiloach) of 2 official "Hamas" offices that were very active in the area, and of course, greater police presence in and around the homes with Jewish families, Beit HaDvash and Beit Yehonatan. Yesterday other members of an Arab terror cell in Silwan(Shiloach) were arrested and are awaiting trial.
The presence of Jewish families in this area effectively "pushes" the authorities and police to act and show sovereignty. Police Minister Ahronowitz told Ateret Cohanim and the families that they should be able to live safely in the area like any residents of Jerusalem or throughout Israel and that all efforts are being made to ensure their safety.
There were many press correspondents at the visit to Beit Yehonatan and the Minister was asked numerous questions regarding the security of the Jewish families in the area and the work being done by  Police Commander Schacham and the Police.
Ateret Cohanim has worked hard lobbying the Israeli government to become more actively involved in providing security for our families living in and around the Old City.  They have helped us bolster our security measures for the families in these areas and now see themselves as our partner ensuring our families' safety.
Both Ateret Cohanim and the families of Beit Yehonatan and Beit HaDvash were very "touched and emotionally moved" that the
Israeli Minister went to the effort in his busy schedule to pay such an important visit to their home in the old Yemenite Village-Shiloach.
It is hoped that more Jewish families will move into these areas as the Jewish people reclaim all parts of Jerusalem. As more families move in, the overall security situation will improve. For those who wish to be involved in any investment in the area, or help Ateret Cohanim progress with building permits, please contact the head office in Jerusalem. (
In the short term, we need to renovate an apartment in Beit Yehonatan that was firebombed, thus enabling another family to move into the building. (Cost-$45000)
 We also need to build a specially designed steel mesh pergola to protect the new playground (already donated) on the rooftop. 

The previous playground was totally destroyed and burnt due to attacks on the rooftop by surrounding Arab neighbors.
(Cost of pergola-$5,000)
Please contact American Friends of Ateret Cohanim/Jerusaem Chai at 212-216-9270/ or Ateret Cohanim's Jerusalem office at 972-54-654-4407 for more
information regarding these 2 projects.

If you wish to make a donation please click here and be our partner in the renewed Yemenite Village
of Shiloach or any other "Jerusalem Project", please click on donations.

Thanking you in advance,
Daniel Luria
Executive Director
Ateret Cohanim Yerushalayim