“The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police have arrested an American-born Jewish settler who was behind an unprecedented series of deadly terror shootings and bombings spanning over a decade, in which two Palestinians were killed and Israel Prize Laureate Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell was injured,” reports the Jerusalem Post in a major breaking news story. “He also planted a bomb at the entrance to house of a messianic family in Ariel, seriously wounding their son, then-15-year-old Ami Ortiz.”
Israeli authorities are to be commended for cracking these serious cases. The fact that so many hate crime attacks may, in fact, be linked together is deeply troubling. Evangelical Christians in the U.S. and around the world have been deeply concerned about the targeting and attempted murder of Israeli Pastor David Ortiz and his family because of their faith in Jesus as the Messiah in the land of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. Threats have been made to other followers of Jesus in Israel. And now we learn that other minorities in Israel were allegedly targeted by this man, as well.
[UPDATE: See Jerusalem Post interview with Pastor Ortiz.]
[UPDATE: PM Netanyahu comments]
The question that must be asked at this point is this: Was Yaakov “Jack” Teitel working alone, or are there others planning and perpetrating similar crimes in the Land? The man is reportedly a fairly new immigrant (moving to Israel seven years ago) and doesn’t speak much Hebrew. Is it possible he was really a lone gunman? This remains to be seen.
Please pray for justice to be done, but please also pray for the Lord’s mercy on this man, his family, and his victims. If there are others involved in these crimes, please pray that they are apprehended and prosecuted as well.
MORE EXCERPTS FROM JERUSALEM POST STORY:
- “Yaakov ‘Jack’ Teitel, 37, was arrested by the Israel Police’s elite counter-terror unit YAMAM on October 7th as he was hanging flyers in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof in support of the attack on a Tel Aviv gay and lesbian youth club in August in which two people were killed. Teitel, the Shin Bet said, was not the gunman in that attack.
- “Teitel, the father of four from the settlement of Shevut Rahel, came to Israel in 1997 and succeeded in smuggling a pistol into Israel aboard a British Airways flight. The gun was used to kill an East Jerusalem cab driver on June 8, 1997 and two months later to shoot and kill a Palestinian shepherd near the settlement of Carmel in the Southern Hebron Hills….
- In addition to the gun smuggled by air, Teitel also smuggled another nine automatic machine guns and pistols into Israel hidden in a shipping container….
- “During his interrogations, Teitel confessed to a long list of shooting and bombing attacks. The first two attacks were the shootings in 1997. In November 2006, he planted a bomb inside a police station in the settlement of Eli. The bomb was discovered and dismantled but the Shin Bet official said that ‘it was sophisticated’ and had it gone off ‘people would have been killed.’…
- “In April 2007, Teitel planted a bomb next to the Beit Jamal Monastery near Beit Shemesh. A Palestinian driving a tractor set off the bomb and was injured….
- “On May 15, 2007, Teitel planted another bomb in the Jerusalem neighborhood Ramot near police car. The bomb exploded but no one was injured. A month later he planted another bomb on the side of a road near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot Shlomo and detonated it as a police car passed by. No one was injured….
- “On March 20, 2008, Teitel planted a bomb at the entrance to the Ortiz family in Ariel, who he believed were messianic Jews and were trying to convert Jews to Christianity.
- “On Sept. 25, 2008, Teitel planed a bomb at the entrance to the home of Sternhell in Jerusalem, which went off and injured the well-known academic. He said he decided to target Sternhell since he understood that the professor had called to kill Jewish settlers.
- “He also confessed to stabbing an Arab youth in 1997 in Independence Park since he thought he was gay….
- “In the arms cache found near his house, police discovered a sophisticated sniper rifle, an M15 machine gun, an M16 shortened automatic rifle, a Glock pistol as well as a Browning 9mm.”
- Ynet News: Settler suspected of multiple hate crimes — authorities believe Yaakov Teitel of Shvut Rachel murdered two Arabs, planted pipe bomb which injured Hebrew University’s Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell, planted multiple explosive devices. Lawyer: He’s mentally unstable.
- Haaretz: Alleged Jewish terrorist arrested for murder, series of bomb attacks
- Haaretz: Who is suspected Jewish terrorist Yaakov Teitel?
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