Neighbors: Teitel family always 'normal'

Betar Illit neighbors sa

November 1, 2009 23:10
1 minute read.

The lights were out and there was no answer at the Teitel home in Beitar Illit on Sunday night, hours after a gag order was lifted on the arrest of Ya'acov Teitel, the American immigrant suspected of plotting terror attacks against Palestinians and left-wing and messianic Jews. The home of Teitel's parents, Mordechai and Elisheva, lies on a quiet, gently-curving street in the haredi city south of Jerusalem. The home appeared abandoned Sunday night, but across the red steel front door there were a series of large dents, one or two in the shape of footprints, tell-tale signs of a recent forced entry. A neighbor in the small, three-level building confirmed that during Succot "police, Shin-Bet, somebody" burst into the Teitel home late one night. The neighbor, who asked not to be named, added that although she rarely saw the Teitel family, they were perfectly kind, normal neighbors who never caused any problems. She added that she did not know Ya'acov, and there was nothing to ever suggest that anyone in the family was involved in anything illegal. On the ground floor of the building, a "recent - well, not-so-recent" immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Rosa, also said that she didn't know the Teitels well, but that they were always very kind. She said she used to see Elisheva going for walks in the morning and she was "always very kind, always smiling." Meanwhile, the Shvut Rahel community, where Ya'acov resides with his own family, and where police found a cache of weapons near his home, issued a statement Sunday expressing its revulsion to the actions attributed to him. The community expressed hope that the security establishment would uncover the truth, but also "prays that the suspicions against Ya'acov Teitel will be found to be untrue, and so long as he was not proven guilty we believe in his innocence." The community also "wishes to emphasize that attempts by left-wing interested parties to exploit the situation for incitement against all settlers are ugly and despicable."

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