Jewish terrorist who nearly killed Messianic boy seeks prison furlough

Jack Teitel, a 39-year-old settler, is seen at the Jerusalem's district court on January 16, 2013. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jewish terrorist convicted of nearly killing a Messianic teen with a pipe bomb disguised as a Purim gift is requesting a leave of prison to attend his newborn son’s circumcision (brit milah) on Saturday.

Yaakov (Jack) Teitel is currently serving two life sentences for murdering two Palestinians as well as planting a bomb at the home of David and Leah Ortiz on March 20, 2008. They weren’t home at the time, but their 15-year-old son, Amiel, opened the box which was wrapped as a holiday gift . The bomb nearly killed the teen, severed two of his toes, damaged his hearing, subjected him to multiple operations and left him fighting for his life.

“We pray that God would use all this so (Teitel) would know him,” David Ortiz told KNI responding to the news of the convict’s furlough request. “We’re thinking more of his salvation at this point more than anything else, that, at the end, salvation would come to his house.”

The Ortiz family, even Amiel, have adopted a posture of forgiveness and refuse to seek any form of revenge on Teitel or his family.

Teitel, who is allowed conjugal visits, appealed to the Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Sunday to be allowed to attend his son’s brit on Saturday. This is his second son born since he was convicted in 2013. The brit of that son took place at the prison on a week day and guests were able to travel there to attend, which they would not be able to do on Shabbat.

“We request he be allowed to take an irregular vacation for the brit ceremony considering the exceedingly special circumstances,” Teitel’s attorney Azriel Friedenberg petitioned the IPS.

Teitel told his attorney that “Thousands of terrorists have been released home in the past few years — I’m merely asking to be present for my son’s brit. I’ll go back to prison later. I expect to receive this small bit of compassion at the very least.”

Teitel immigrated to Israel from the United States in 2000. He was arrested in October 2009 on suspicion of murdering two Palestinians in 1997 when he was a tourist. But it was the Ortiz investigation that sped up his arrest. He was also convicted of planting a pipe bomb outside the home of Israeli historian Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in 2008. Sternhell was lightly wounded.

Ortiz said that Amiel has recovered physically, but still needs to undergo regular operations. Amiel graduated college in the United States with a BA in psychology. He currently works with U.S. Army veterans who have experienced trauma. David said that Amiel feels he can do so because he himself is a survivor.

“I don’t have nightmares, I don’t want revenge,” Amiel told his father. “I’m an overcomer.”