Jewish 'terrorist': God is proud of me

By Jessica Elgot, November 12, 2009
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Ya'akov Teitel, an Israeli-American is charged with 14 attacks on Palestinians, gays, messianic and left-wing Jews

Ya'akov Teitel, an Israeli-American is charged with 14 attacks on Palestinians, gays, messianic and left-wing Jews

Jewish “terrorist” Ya’akov Teitel, who is charged with the murder of two Palestinians, has told an Israeli court: “God is proud of me.”

Mr Teitel, 37, an American immigrant who lives in the Shvut Rachel settlement in the West Bank with his Manchester-born wife Rivka, is charged with 14 offences.

Charges include two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, and include alleged attacks on gay, left-wing and messianic Jews.

He is accused of murdering a Palestinian taxi driver in East Jerusalem and a Palestinian shepherd in the West Bank.

He also allegedly sent a gift wrapped bomb to a family of messianic Jews, put antifreeze in juice bottles in a Palestinian village, and perpetrated a bomb attack on the left-wing academic Zeev Sternhell.

Mr Teitel was first arrested in Jerusalem after distributing leaflets praising the August attack on the gay youth club in Tel Aviv.

As he entered Jerusalem district court, Mr Teitel said: “"It's been a pleasure and an honour to serve my God. God is proud of what I have done, I have no regrets."

Police found a large collection of weapons when searching his home in the West Bank.

Mr Teitel’s lawyer Adi Keidar will plead that his client is mentally disturbed.

Mrs Teitel, who was arrested on the way to her husband’s hearing earlier this week, has since been released without charged.

She was born Rivka Pepperman to a family from Broughton Park, Manchester. Her father, Michael, a well-known solicitor in the community, was a member of the now closed Central Synagogue. They made aliyah in 1981.

Mrs Teitel’s sister, Dasi Kreif, said: “There was no doubt that an indictment would be filed following these terrible actions. We are trying to go on with our lives, but Rivka will have to deal with a great crisis in her life. It will ruin her life.

“At this stage she refuses to believe as long as she has not met him privately, looked him in the eye and asked him. Soon she will begin to understand, and it will be very difficult.”

Mr Teitel has been remanded in custody until further hearings in December.

Last updated: 12:10pm, November 12 2009