BREAKING: Suspect arrested in Ami Ortiz bombing case

Sunday, November 01, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

The Israeli police on Sunday lifted a gag order on the recent arrest of a suspect in the investigation into the 2008 Purim bomb attack on the Ortiz family, local Messianic leaders who live in the Samarian town of Ariel.

The suspect, an American-born religious Jewish man from a nearby settlement, left a Purim package on the Ortiz's doorstep, which is a common practice during the holiday. But the package contained a powerful bomb that exploded in the face of then-15-year-old Ami Ortiz as he picked it up to take it into the house.

Ami went through more than a year of painful surgeries and rehabilitation, but overcame early diagnoses that he would have trouble ever walking again, would lose his hearing and would lose sight in at least one eye.

Israel's Messianic community was at first frustrated in what seemed to be foot-dragging by the police in investigating the case, presumably because they knew the perpetrator was an Orthodox Jew and did not want to sully the image of the anti-missionary groups that target Messianic leaders like the Ortiz's.

The suspect, 37-year-old father of four Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, was also connected to a number of other attacks over the past decade, including the bombing and wounding of a well-known ultra-leftist university professor in Jerusalem last September.

During his recent interrogation, Teitel reportedly confessed to bombing the Ortiz family because they were trying to "convert Jews to Christianity."

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