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American-born Israeli gets double life terms in Palestinian deaths

April 09, 2013|By Batsheva Sobelman

JERUSALEM--The Jerusalem District Court sentenced an American-born Israeli to two life sentences and another 30 years in jail for murdering two Palestinians and additional crimes Tuesday.

Dubbed "The Jewish Terrorist" by Israeli media, Jack Teitel was arrested in 2009 after a years-long investigation by police and Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, for a series of terror attacks that began in the 1990s.

In January, Teitel was convicted of the separate murders of two Palestinian men and the attempted murders of a prominent Jewish liberal professor and the teenage son of a family of messianic Jews.

Teitel was also convicted of incitement to violence and terror, and weapons possession.

Prosecutor Sagi Ophir said the heavy sentencing conveyed "an unequivocal message from the court to those turning to a path of terror."

The court also ordered Teitel to pay around $190,000 in compensation to the families of the victims. Teitel, 40, was born in Florida but moved to Israel as an adult, eventually settling in the West Bank, according to Israeli press reports.

Prior to the sentencing, Teitel told media at the courthouse he did not regret his acts and was "proud of them."

During the trial, Teitel claimed he had seen revelations and heard voices telling him to act. Despite persistent questions regarding his mental health throughout proceedings, the court ruled Teitel fully aware of his actions and responsible for them.

His lawyer told the news media they would appeal.

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