Israeli Authorities Arrest Extremist Charged With Killing Palestinians

Israeli authorities have arrested a Jewish-American extremist who confessed to killing two Palestinians and bombing the home of an Israeli professor in a series of high-profile hate crimes.

Israel's Shin Bet security service says Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, a 37-year-old ultra-Orthodox West Bank settler, is behind the attacks, spanning 12 years.

Police and security forces announced that Teitel's other victims include a family of messianic Jews, a monastery and Israeli police, whom he accused of begin pro-gay.

Authorities originally suspected a Jewish underground for some of the attacks. But acquaintances described the father of four as a lone wolf, and authorities say he acted alone.

Two Palestinians allegedly targeted by Teitel, a shepherd and taxi driver, were killed more than a decade ago in 1997. Professor Zeev Sternhell, an outspoken Israeli critic of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, was wounded last year by a pipe bomb near his home last year.

A short time after the explosion outside Sternhell's home, police found posters in the professor's neighborhood offering a $294,000 reward to anyone who killed a member of Israel's Peace Now movement — a group that opposes Jewish West Bank settlement activity, Reuters reported.

Such attacks have sparked new fears that ideological friction in Israel could disrupt the country's internal stability as Israeli leaders work toward a land-for-peace agreement with Palestinians.

Teitel immigrated to Israel in 2000 and now lives with his wife and four children in the West Bank settlement Shevut Rachel.

An attorney for Teitel said that the Florida native believes he is an "emissary of the Lord" with a mission from God and said that Teitel is unfit to stand trial, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.