Thursday, July 12, 2012

Victims of explosion in Israel lament plea agreement

A bomb hidden in a Purim gift basket
detonated in the Ortiz family’s home.
(Photo: Compass Direct News)
A Messianic Jewish congregation leader whose son was almost killed by a bomb planted by an ultra-right wing Jew said he feels like the Israeli criminal justice system has abandoned him, reports Compass Direct News.

On March 20, 2008, Jack Teitel placed a Purim basket laden with explosives at the front door of the Ortiz apartment in Ariel, Israel, according to a confession Teitel made to police. The bomb was meant to kill Ortiz, who runs an active ministry in Israel and in parts of the Occupied Territories.  However, the pastor’s son, 15-year-old Ami Ortiz, opened the basket. The subsequent blast severely injured Ami.

In May 2012 the Jerusalem District Court approved a plea agreement for Jack Teitel without consulting Ortiz or his attorneys. Ortiz, leader of the Congregation of Ariel, said the prosecutor’s office has also consistently misled his attorneys about basic information on important court filings for the case. The Ortiz family opposes any plea bargain.

“They are doing it without any kind of consultation with us,” Ortiz said. “The victims are either supposed to either OK it or reject it. They can’t just make a plea bargain without consulting the victims. They are trying to ignore us.”

The prosecutor that is supposed to be protecting Ortiz’s interests is neglecting his duty, he added. “He doesn’t want to be seen protecting Christians,” Ortiz said. “It doesn’t benefit him in society.”

In June, the Jerusalem District Court was scheduled to have another hearing to determine if Teitel is “criminally responsible” for the shootings and bombings. Earlier this year, the court declared he was fit to stand trial.  David Ortiz said he has long been concerned that the prosecution will make a deal with the defense in which they will say Teitel was insane when he set the bomb, thus making him not responsible for what he did.

For Ami, the question isn’t about how much time Teitel spends in prison, but whether his heart is changed when he is released.

“I have forgiven him,” Ami said. “I never felt the need for revenge. I have never felt any kind of hate for Jack Teitel. I hope God talks to him. I hope someone says to him something that will make him think about where he is heading in life. Is what he’s doing right?”

Ami said he wants Teitel to accept Yeshua as Messiah. If one hour in jail led Teitel to a changed heart, “one hour would be great,” he said.

To read the full report, click hereThe August edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter shares about recent struggles the Ortiz family has faced from those opposed to their sharing the gospel. Be sure to sign up to receive a free copy of the newsletter to learn more.

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