CBN News - January 17, 2013

Publication: CBN News
Type: Online / TV
Date: January 17, 2013
Country: Israel
Title: American-born 'Jewish Terrorist' Convicted of Murder
Reporter: Chris Mitchell & Julie Stahl
Section: Inside Israel
Article: link

JERUSALEM, Israel -- This week, the Jerusalem District Court convicted the man accused of delivering a bomb to an Israeli pastor's home, nearly killing his son.

American-born Jack Teitel walked into the courtroom this week to hear the judges' verdict. Inside they convicted him of murdering two Palestinians in separate attacks in 1997.

"Today's decision was very comforting for us," Hani Balbisi, the brother of the murdered taxi driver, said. "It came too late because we waited 15 years to hear such a decision."

"But I would like to ask from the court that it will go after the other people who were probably cooperating with them because it couldn't be a one man's act," he added.

The court found Teitel, dubbed the "Jewish terrorist," was not insane and held him criminally responsible for his actions, even though he claimed an angel controlled him.

The judges also convicted him of a number of other violent crimes, including the attempted murder of then-15-year-old Ami Ortiz in March 2008.

Ami nearly died when he opened a bomb-laden Purim gift basket delivered to his family's home. He miraculously survived and after numerous surgeries eventually returned to the basketball court where he loved to play.

The attack was believed to have been directed against the Ortiz family because of their faith in Jesus. Ami's mother, Leah, is a Messianic Jew and his father, David, a pastor in the city of Ariel.

His mother said even though her son still has nearly 100 pieces of shrapnel in his body and constant ringing in his ears from the bomb, the family moved on a long time ago.

"From the very beginning we knew we had to forgive him, and the Lord did a work of forgiveness in our hearts from the beginning," she told CBN News.

"For me it was a supernatural thing that happened to me the very first day," she said. "The Lord really spoke to my heart directly through Psalm 36 and He really gave me the love of God for this person and commissioned me to pray for him and for his salvation," she said.

"And so that's what we concentrate on because if we concentrate on anything else, we won't be able to heal, we won't be able to go on with our lives, and everyone in our family has had to come to that place," his mother said.

"At the end, there's always justice with God because He's the final judge," his father said. "So I feel peace. I really feel peace."

In an earlier interview, Ami told CBN News he prays for Teitel.

"I'm praying, hoping that in his time in jail he will think about it and understand and realize he's done some pretty serious mistakes and he needs to repent," Ami said.

Asked if he had forgiven him, he responded, "Oh yeah, like I said before in the interviews, from the beginning there was no hate for nobody."

"We're able to comfort as the Lord has comforted us, like it says in II Corinthians. And so in a way it will never be over, but for good also and not just for the pain and the trauma," his mother added.

"You know when I see my son's body and the effects of his injuries, I die inside personally," she said. "But you know we just bring it before the Lord and we keep on going for the Lord."

After the bombing, letters and support flooded the Ortiz family from around the world.

"We had people who supported us and I believe that if it wasn't for the prayers and if people wouldn't support us, we wouldn't be able to stand. We're standing here because of the Body of the Lord," David Ortiz said.

Teitel left the court as he had entered it -- in chains. He is likely to be sentenced to life in prison.

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