Daily Israel Report

Suspect Released in Teitel Case

A resident of Shvut Rachel arrested on suspicion of involvement in terrorism has been released.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/5/2009, 7:55 PM / Last Update: 11/5/2009, 9:28 PM

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Yosef Espinoza of Shvut Rachel in Samaria (Shomron) was released from police custody on Thursday after being arrested in connection to the Yaakov Teitel case. Police suspected Espinoza of involvement in Teitel's alleged crimes, which include a long string of attacks on Arabs, police officers, Christian missionaries, and others.

Espinoza was released despite the fact that his remand was extended by one week a day earlier. His release came after a polygraph (lie detector) test showed his testimony to be reliable.

Residents of Shvut Rachel, including Teitel's wife and family, say they were completely unaware of Teitel's criminal activity.

Teitel has been accused of several attacks, the first of them the murder of an Arab cab driver from Jerusalem in 1997, and the most recent a bomb attack on the home of leftist professor Zeev Sternhell. Teitel has confessed to the attacks.

Columnist: Screen Applicants for Aliyah
Arutz-7 columnist Yair Shapira argued Thursday that the Teitel case, along with the murder of the Oshrenko family by former employee Damien (Dmitri) Kirilik, proves the need to screen applicants for aliyah (immigration). Kirilik and Teitel had both immigrated to Israel less than a decade before the violent attacks of which they are suspected, and both were suspected of violent crime in their countries of origin.

"A reasonable effort by Israel's immigration authority could have clarified matters before both men received a certificate of immigration, before both were authorized to carry weapons, and well before the horrors they sowed here,” Shapira said.

The Law of Return that allows Jews and their descendants to receive Israeli citizenship also allows Israel to decline to give citizenship to those who “endanger the public health or safety,” Shapira noted. He called on officials to enforce the law by “taking the time to check those who seek refuge in Israeli citizenship.”