Déjà vu for Messianic Bombing Victims

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Four years after a Messianic Jewish teenager was critically injured by a bomb hidden in a Purim gift package, an unknown prankster may have played a "joke" on the same family Thursday.

CBN News covered the bombing in March 2008, which nearly killed 15-year-old Ami Ortiz, embedding shrapnel and severely burning his face, neck, chest and hands.

Ami's father, David Ortiz, who pastors a Messianic fellowship in Ariel, sent an email detailing the incident.

Thursday's 'Event'

About 12:30 p.m., the security cameras showed a man placing a large carton at their front door, ringing the bell and then hurrying down the stairs.

"We immediately called the police, closed our steel enforced door and went into the bedroom furthest away from the hallway," Pastor David wrote. "Then we called all the believers in town to warn them about any suspicious packages at their doors or next to their property."

For the next three hours, police, firemen and an IDF bomb squad took over. The four adults and two children in the Ortiz apartment were evacuated by a fire truck lift. Police evacuated the rest of the residents, who moved cars from the street as police cordoned off the area.

Reporters and cameramen began arriving, some recalling the Purim bombing there four years ago.

"Why is it when Jews believe in Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew), everything changes," one photographer asked the Ortiz family. Any other beliefs don't seem to "make a difference" he said. 

A short time later, a religious Jew arrived and told police the local Orthodox Jewish elementary school was giving Purim food packages to needy families. This one was delivered to the Ortiz family "by mistake," he said.

The media and security services "didn't buy that story so quickly," Ortiz explained in the email, saying they were investigating whether it was "a bad joke to scare us or if it truly was a mistake."

In any case, "the event was very costly -- bringing in all that equipment and manpower," he explained.

The head of the bomb squad commended them for doing the right thing. He had been there four years ago and said they must never hesitate to call when anything suspicious happens.

Ya'akov "Jack" Teitel

The man charged with attempting to murder the Ortiz family, Ya'akov "Jack" Teitel, also murdered two Arabs -- a taxi driver and a shepherd -- and wounded Israeli Prize Laureate Prof. Zev Sternhill with a bomb he planted at his home.

In court, a smiling Teitel flashed the peace sign, saying "it was my pleasure and honor to serve my God."

"God is proud of what I have done," he said. "I have no regrets."

Though he was initially declared fit to stand trial for his nationalistically motivated crimes, in mid-February, his lawyers reached a plea bargain with the Jerusalem District's Prosecutor's Office.

They entered a guilty plea on their client's behalf (he doesn't accept the court's jurisdiction) to the two murders on the condition of filing a revised indictment that omitted information from the original charges.

His lawyers hope the new indictment will convince the court that Teitel was not responsible for his actions, paving the way for admission to a psychiatric facility in lieu of consecutive life sentences.

In theory, Teitel could be released in several years, according to the recommendations of the medical staff.

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CBN News
Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem

From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow helps provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country.

She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) several years ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.