Israeli police arrest West Bank settler over Palestinian killings

Mon, Nov 2, 2009, 00:00

ISRAELI POLICE have arrested an American immigrant resident of a West Bank settler outpost on suspicion of murdering two Palestinians and carrying out a string of attacks against other targets, including a prominent Israeli professor and a family which practised Christianity.

Yaakov “Jack” Teitel, a religious Jew and father of four, emigrated to Israel in 2000. He was arrested last month after handing out posters in an ultra-orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood praising a shooting at a Tel Aviv gay club.

Last night, it was revealed that Teitel (36) admitted murdering a Palestinian taxi driver and a West Bank shepherd, and planting a pipe bomb which injured Prof Zeev Sternhell, an Israeli professor who was outspoken in his opposition to West Bank settlers.

He sent a parcel bomb to the home of a family of Messianic Jews (Jews who practise Christianity), inflicting serious wounds on their 15-year-old son, and placed a bomb outside a monastery.

Over the years Mr Teitel, who was born in Florida, managed to smuggle 10 rifles and guns to Israel in shipments from the US.

Though he associated with right-wing extremists, police believe he acted alone, carefully planning his attacks with precision, and keeping the fact secret even from his British-born wife. He told police the attacks were to avenge Palestinian suicide bombings.