CBNNews.com - ARIEL, Israel - A bomb, concealed in a Purim holiday gift basket, exploded when the son of a Messianic couple opened the package.
Fifteen-year-old Ami Ortiz was rushed to Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikveh, where he underwent extensive surgery for shrapnel wounds and burns to his face, neck, chest, hands and feet.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators are trying to determine whether Muslim or Jewish extremists are behind the attack, which police are calling a criminal act.
"All Messianic Jewish communities are still in shock and pain over the incident," said a close family friend, who rode with him to the hospital.
"The feeling is really difficult right now. The most important thing is that he comes out of the operating room and the second thing is that we hope they will catch the person who did this and condemn it," he said.
"Messianic Jews suffer a lot of harassment and other types of violence -- burning down meeting places, pestering [us] at home, distributing fliers with our pictures on them and more," he said.
"There is always a danger from the religious perspective, but the question is, where it comes from. We would really like to believe that it doesn't come from the Jewish sector," he said.
Ami's parents, David and Leah Ortiz, and his brothers and sister, have lived in Ariel for many years.
David pastors a small fellowship in Ariel and also has extensive outreach to local Palestinians, which has made him the target of Muslim death threats and a beating on one occasion.
Ami's older brothers have all served in elite units in the Israel Defense Forces.
Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post