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Man convicted of bombing Israeli Messianic Pastor’s home demands release from prison

JERUSALEM, Israel – The man responsible for leaving a bomb outside an Israeli Messianic pastor’s apartment, which almost killed his son 10 years ago, is demanding to be released from prison.

Less than a week ago, Jack (Ya’akov) Teitel, serving two life terms for murder, plus 30 years for other attacks, began a hunger strike demanding his release.

One of the attacks took place on March 20, 2008. Then 15-year-old Ami Ortiz, the youngest son of Messianic Pastor David Ortiz, had stayed home from school that day. It was Purim.

Messianic Pastor David Ortiz

On Purim, Israelis typically exchange large gift baskets full of candy and fruit and other edibles.

The Ortiz family’s housekeeper had found such a bundle at the door and brought it inside. But when Ami tried to open the package, the shrapnel-laden bomb hidden inside exploded in his arms, gutting the apartment and shattering windows on the street below.

Ami suffered extensive injuries to his whole body.

Israeli paper reports on the terror attack

Security camera footage caught the attacker, later identified as Teitel, escaping down the staircase.

Leah Ortiz

Five years later, following a lengthy and well-publicized trial, an Israeli court convicted Teitel of murdering two Arabs – a taxi driver and a shepherd – years earlier, along with a series of attempted murders spanning more than a decade.

On October 7, 2009, police finally arrested Teitel, who was originally from Florida. During the investigation, he confessed to many of the attacks, including the one that almost killed Ami. He was indicted on November 12 of that year and sentenced on January 16, 2010.

During the trial, Teitel insisted that the court had no power over him. For three years, he underwent extensive psychological testing, with his attorneys claiming he was mentally unfit to stand trial. In the end, the court indicted him on 10 charges, including two first-degree murder and two attempted murder charges.

Ami back on the court

Over the years, Ami underwent many surgeries and medical procedures. He publicly forgave his attacker and eventually went to college in the States, where he returned to his favorite sport: basketball.

This article originally appeared on CBN News, April 24, 2018, and reposted with permission.

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Tzippe Barrow is the CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem. She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) nearly two decades ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.

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