Jewish terror suspect unfit to stand trial


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A U.S.-born Jewish terror suspect is currently unfit to stand trial, according to a Jerusalem court psychiatrist.

Yaakov (Jack) Teitel has been under observation in a Jerusalem psychiatric hospital for three months. The Jerusalem district psychiatrist submitted an evaluation to the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday.

Teitel, 37 and the father of four young children, is charged with two counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, incitement, weapons violations and one count of arson.

Arrested Oct. 7, 2009 in a joint police-Shin Bet operation, Teitel allegedly killed two Palestinians and attempted to murder five Jews and Arabs. He also allegedly assembled a package bomb that seriously injured the son of a messianic Jew and set up a pipe bomb near the home of prominent liberal professor Ze’ev Sternhell.

A Florida native, Teitel made aliyah in 2000 and is a resident of the Shvut Rachel outpost in the northern West Bank.

The evaluation refers to his current mental state and ability to stand trial. It does not assess his mental state at the time Teitel allegedly committed the crimes.

The evaluation means that the trial, which officially began in December, will be postponed until Teitel’s mental state improves.

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi took issue with the evaluation, saying that "An Arab who shoots a Jew in Israel is a terrorist, but a Jew who shoots Arabs is insane."

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