Teitel's home in Shvut Rachel
Teitel's home in Shvut RachelIsrael news photo: Arutz Sheva

The community of Shvut Rachel reacted to the suspicions against a resident, Yakov Teitel, by saying that it finds the crimes attributed to him “abhorrent.” A spokesman for the community said the acts are wrong and forbidden, and that it hopes the security establishment will reach the truth in the matter.

However, a Shvut Rachel statement added that “As long as Yakov Teitel has not been proven guilty, we believe his innocence.” The community also stated that “attempts by the Left to take advantage of the situation for incitement against all of the settlers are ugly and pathetic.”

Weapons cache allegedly found under Teitel's home, in aphoto provided by Israel Police.

MK Zevulun Orlev of the Jewish Home said that “the religious Zionist movement believes in abiding by the law and denouncing all violence, and therefore supports a thorough investigation and legal process to find out the truth.” However, Orlev called upon the pubic and the media “to refrain from cynically taking advantage of the investigation in order to place labels on the entire religious Zionist sector, which does not have to apologize for abiding by the law.”

'A strange man'

The head of the Binyamin Council, Avi Roeh, said that Teitel's alleged crimes are “grave, unacceptable and wrong, both legally and morally.” He called Teitel “a strange man who does not reflect upon the majority. The residents of Binyamin in general, and Shvut Rachel in particular, are a high quality, moral and law abiding public.”

Nationalist activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said “we do not support violence, especially against Jews, but elements like [Prof. Zeev] Sternhell must do some soul searching. In his statements and recommendations to Arabs to harm 'only' settlers he committed a provocation that led to violence.”

Prof. Sternhell was lightly wounded by a pipe bomb that Teitel allegedly placed outside his home.

Reactions from Left

Prof. Sternhell reacted to Teitel's arrest Sunday and said that “if the perpetrator of the attack had not been caught, I think Israeli society would eventually have paid the price.” He added: “I hope that the law enforcement establishment which has hold of the alleged criminal will deal with the terrorist as it deals with any terrorist, Jew or Arab.”

MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), a former deputy to the head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said Sunday that he expects the Jewish leaders in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) to denounce and excoriate Teitel's alleged deeds. “Still, we must not besmirch an entire populace,” he said, because “sometimes stray weeds grow in a well-tended garden.

MK Nitzan Horovitz (Meretz) said Sunday that Teitel's arrest “is proof of the upsurge in incitement and political violence in Israel.” He said that Teitel's views and actions “grew out of the poisoned food of certain groups in the radical violent Right.”