Asher Aharon Gross

Terror victim was in inaugural class at Shavei Hevron Yeshiva


Asher Aharon Gross (April 13, 1965 - July 7, 1983) moved with his family to Israel in 1974 from Staten Island, New York. The family lived in Jerusalem and Aharon attended school in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood. He was part of the first class of the newly opened Shavei Hevron yeshiva located at the historic Beit Romano building in Hebron. His mother Yehudit Gross told Jewish Telegraphic Agency the yeshiva had been selected because of the close rabbi-student relationship.
He was described by his friends as "a gentle soul and a wise student." The yeshiva rabbi said of him that he was "a lively fellow with a rare kindness... always ready to help everyone."
The Gross family were associated with Yeshiva University in New York. After his murder, Dr. Norman Lamm, president of the university, said “we remember the Gross family in their mourning. They only wanted to live in peace and to fulfill their love for Torah and for Zion. We share in their grief at the senseless killing of this young man who had so much to give to the world.”
At the age of 18, he was attacked while standing at the roundabout on King David Street / Shuhada Street in Hebron near the wholesale market waiting for a ride. Three terrorists emerged from a car with knives and stabbed him in the stomach and chest. They fled in an awaiting vehicle in front of the wholesale market. Aharon's friends, who were in a nearby vehicle, saw the attack, and chased the terriorists in their own vehicle, and an exchange of gunfire ensued.
Aharon ran bleeding towards the Avraham Avinu neighborhood but collapsed on the road. He was picked up by local Hebron Arab residents who thought he was a fellow Arab resident and brought him to Princess Alia Hospital. When the hospital staff saw his tzitzit fringes, they refused to treat him and he died of his wounds. His body was taken to a local Arab resident's home with the intention of hiding it, but the Israel Defense Forces recovered his body. 
He was buried at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem.
The spot where he was stabbed was named Gross Square and a memorial was erected. The wholesale market which was used as a cover for the terrorists was temporarily shut down as a result of the murder and later reopened. The area was once home to the Jewish community of Hebron where a synagogue and other buildings once stood before being demolished by the Jordanians. 
The Israeli government imposed a curfew on the city in response to the murder, and accused the mayor and city council of incitement. Arab agitators staged riots in Hebron and in Jerusalem where one policeman and six Arabs were reported injured and about 40 Arabs were arrested. 
Herut Zionists of America responded condemning "the cowardly murder in Hebron of yet another innocent Jew.” Rabbi Dov Aharoni-Fisch, executive director stated, “we believe that Jews throughout the world should respond by increasing their support for Israeli government efforts to settle the width and breadth of Judaea and Samaria.”
According to the indictment, the leader of the terrorists, Ibrahim Serjil, was a member of a terrorist organziation since 1980. During his stay in Amman, Jordan, he joined a radical fundamentalist group whose goal was to carry out attacks against Jews. He was tasked with recruiting more people to the organization, and wrote and distributed pamphlets in Hebron on behalf of the organization, including instructions for preparing explosives and conducting surveillance. Another terrorist from the group was also charged with creating explosive devices. 
The three terrorists met on the day of the planned murder and the squad leader ordered them to kill a Jew and snatch his weapon. Two more terrorists were to warn against the arrival of the security forces and another to help escape from the scene.
The trial of the murderers took place in a military court in Shchem (Nablus), composed of military judges Col. Amnon Strashnov , Lt. Col. Shmuel Finkelman and Lt. Col. Haim Shapira. The prosecution demanded that the eight defendants be sentenced to life imprisonment .
Ibrahim Mahmoud Serjil from Hebron, was accused of being the leader and taking an active part in the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Adnan Ishaq Salima and Ziad Omar Sneina from Jerusalem were charged with stabbing Aharon and sentenced to life in prison. Muhammad Hani al-Zibaat from Jerusalem was charged with grabbing a weapon and sentenced to life in prison. Tahsir Mahmoud Shaalan from Jerusalem and Kaid Sarsour from Hebron were charged with helping the stabbers escape and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Mahmoud Ashur of Hebron was charged with driving the vehicle and assisting the escape of the murderers and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Azzat al-Rajbi from Hebron was accused of providing the terrorists with food, water, clothes and ordering a taxi for them after they fled and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The four terrorists who were sentenced to life in prison were later released in the Jibril prisoner exchange deal.
One of the terrorists was deported to Egypt and later carried out an attack on a passenger bus in Egypt in which nine Israelis were killed and 17 were injured. Another, who was released in the Jibril deal, was spotted by Noam Arnon, spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, while guiding tourists by Gross Square and describing to them the murder he committed there.
Murder of Asher Aharon Gross (Wikipedia Hebrew)
The Aftermath of a Killing in Hebron
More settlers: answer to Hebron killing?
* Israeli Ambassador decries murder in United Nations letter
Student Murdered in Hebron Marketplace Was a Member of a Prominent Yeshiva Family
8 Palestinian Arabs Sentenced, 4 to Life Imprisonment, for the Murder of Yeshiva Student in Hebron
Arens Indicates the Government Has Ambitious Plans for Restoring the Jewish Quarter in Hebron
* Memorial vigil and protest (AP video)
* AP video - stabbing in Hebron
* Riots following stabbing of Jewish student Aaron Gross by Palestinians
* Shavei Hebron memorial page for Asher Aharon Gross
* Jewish community of Hebron memorial page for Asher Aharon Gross
* In the Mid-East, a cowardly murder - news article