Jewish-American charged with killing Palestinians

AP News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2009 9:49 AM

A Jewish-American extremist charged Thursday with shooting to death two Palestinians and trying to kill others with explosive devices and poison said he had no regrets and was sure God approved of his actions.

As Jack Teitel walked, smiling, into the courtroom, he raised his manacled hands and flashed a "V for victory" sign at news cameras.

According to the indictment filed in Jerusalem district court on Thursday, the 37-year-old Teitel, originally from Florida, sought to avenge the deaths of Israelis killed by Palestinian militants.

The indictment said the ultra-Orthodox Jewish West Bank settler's rampage of violence, which began with the slaying of a Palestinian taxi driver in 1997, also included bomb attacks against a dovish Israeli professor and messianic Jews who venerate Jesus.

"It has been a pleasure and an honor to have served my God," Teitel told reporters in court, speaking English.

Among the 14 charges were two counts of murder and three of attempted murder, as well as illegal possession of weapons and explosives and incitement to racism.

One of the Israeli victims of Teitel's alleged attacks was 15-year-old Ami Ortiz, who opened a booby-trapped gift basket sent to his messianic Jewish family. The explosion severed two toes, damaged his hearing and harmed a promising basketball career.

Asked if he felt remorse for his actions the beaming, bearded Teitel said he had "none, no regrets" and added that he had "no doubt" that God approved.

No date has been set for the start of the trial. A murder conviction could carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.