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Package bomb explodes in Christian pastor’s West Bank home

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JERUSALEM — The teenage son of a Christian pastor was seriously wounded when a package bomb delivered to the family's West Bank home went off in his hands, Israeli officials said Friday.

Police wouldn't release further details on Thursday's explosion or discuss possible motives. The boy's brother, reached by telephone at the family's home in the Jewish settlement of Ariel, confirmed the bombing but declined to elaborate.

Israeli media speculated that the bomb — apparently delivered in one of the gift baskets Jews exchange on the Purim holiday that began Thursday night — might have been directed at the family's Christian missionary activities.

Israeli authorities and Orthodox Jews frown on missionary activity aimed at Jews, and some Muslims are angered by efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity.

News reports identified the injured youth as Amiel Ortiz, son of David Ortiz, a missionary who leads a small Christian congregation in Ariel.

"He is in serious condition, still unconscious and hooked up to a respirator," Dr. Efrat Har-Lev of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva told Channel 10 TV. "He has shrapnel all over his body, and one of his eyes was hurt."

She said his prospects for recovery were good because of his youth.