Teitel charged with 2 murders, 3 attempted murders

Teitel charged with two

By DAN IZENBERG
November 12, 2009 10:07
3 minute read.

 
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The state on Thursday filed a 25-page indictment against US-born, alleged Jewish terrorist Ya'acov Teitel, which included two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted murder and involved 14 separate incidents between 1997 and 2008. The indictment was filed and will be heard in Jerusalem District Court. Teitel's lawyer, Adi Keidar, told the court he needed one month to study the evidence before his client would be ready to answer the charges. The state's representative, Saguy Ophir, told the court the indictment was based on Teitel's confession and on forensic evidence based on a DNA sample that was found at the scene of one of the crimes. As he walked into the courtroom, Teitel more or less confessed that he was guilty of the acts for which he was charged. "It was my pleasure and honor to serve my God," he declared. "God is proud of what I have done. I have no regrets." The indictment goes into great detail as to how Teitel smuggled a handgun into Israel during a visit he made in 1997, when he decided to avenge terrorist attacks against Israelis. He took apart the gun and hid the metal pieces in a video player that he carried on board the plane, while sticking the plastic parts in his pocket. His first alleged killing took place on June 8, 1997. He obtained bullets for the gun by signing up for a target shooting exercise, renting a gun and purchasing 200 bullets of the same caliber that his own gun used, according to the indictment. He put 15 of the bullets aside. He then rented a car and parked it near the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. Teitel returned downtown by bus and headed towards east Jerusalem where he hailed an Arab taxicab. During the 15-minute ride to the Holyland Hotel, Teitel talked to the driver, Samir Balbisi, to make sure he was Arab. When they reached the hotel, Teitel kept talking until he saw that Balbisi was looking straight ahead. He took the gun out of his briefcase and fired one shot to the back of Balbisi's head, all according to the indictment. The second incident occurred on August 3, 1997, after Teitel had worked as a shepherd for a family in Sussiya in the South Hebron Hills. According to the indictment, Teitel noticed that many Palestinians walked along the roads in the area and decided to kill one of them. He rented a car, loaded his pistol and drove towards Sussiya. At 6:30 p.m., he spotted Issa Massaf walking alone. On the pretext of asking him directions, Teitel got Massaf to approach the car and shot him in the chest, again all according to the indictment. Other incidents for which Teitel was charged include: • Attempted murder: On March 1, 2003, Teitel allegedly booby-trapped a flashlight with explosives and left it at the entrance to the courtyard of a Palestinian house. It was set to go off as soon as anyone turned the light on. • Attempted murder: At around the same time, Teitel purportedly poured anti-freeze into bottles of juice and left them at a Palestinian village near the Eli settlement. • Attempted murder: On March 20, 2008, Teitel allegedly left a booby-trapped Purim gift at the home of the leader of the messianic Christian community in Ariel, David Ortiz. His son Ami opened the wrapping and the bomb exploded, severely wounding him. He suffered burns, broken ribs, and shrapnel wounds throughout his body, including his eyes. Ami Ortiz spent several months in hospital and is still undergoing treatment. One of the best-known of the alleged assaults by Teitel involved former Hebrew University professor and Israel Prize winner Ze'ev Sternhell. Teitel purportedly planted a bomb outside Sternhell's home in Jerusalem and prepared it to go off when anyone opened the front door. Sternhell opened the door, the bomb exploded and he suffered shrapnel wounds to his thighs. Teitel also allegedly targeted homosexuals and the police, who, in his opinion, deserved it for protecting the gay community during their parades in Jerusalem.

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