For the second time in 10 days, a car bomb shook an Ashkelon neighborhood on
Saturday night, leaving one man in critical condition.
Police said the
man, now in the city’s Barzilai Medical Center, is well known to
He is thought to be a member of mobster Shalom Domrani’s
organization, which suffered a blow on October 24 when one of its members,
Jackie Benita, was killed in a car bomb and another, Avi Biton, was badly
wounded. Biton, known as a senior associate of Domrani, lost both of his legs
and an eye.
Shortly after the blast Saturday night, which occurred on ORT
Street, Southern District head Asst.-Ch. Yoram Halevy called an emergency
meeting with district police. He said they would continue to increase their
deployment in high-crime areas of the city.
Halevy said that he had
ordered the deployment of dozens of Police and Border Police officers to fight
criminal elements in the Ashkelon and “strengthen public safety.”
bombing was “as grave as a terrorist attack,” he said.
Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino arrived at the scene and said officers were
making extra efforts to apprehend those responsible for the attack.
have no intention of allowing such incidents to take place and we have
concentrated our efforts on this. It is our duty to calm the situation
and find those responsible and our efforts will continue until they are behind
Two days after the October 24 blast, police brought six alleged
Domrani associates before a judge in Rishon Lezion, where they were ordered held
on suspicion of stealing CCTV footage showing the placing of the bomb.
is believed that the men stole the footage in an effort to find out who placed
the bomb, so they could take revenge.
The killing sparked fears of a wave
of underworld killings across the country. The Knesset Interior and Environment
Committee held a special meeting on Wednesday on the issue of organized crime
and police efforts against it.
Based in the South, the Domrani
organization is one of the largest criminal organizations in Israel, making
money from illegal gambling, protection and other interests, with a reach moving
beyond its normal sphere of influence. Domrani has a number of enemies and has
been the subject of a number of assassination attempts, including a failed plot
last year by brothers Dudu and Maor Megidish, leaders of an Ashdod- based crime
operation, to kill him by firing an antitank missile from atop a tractor parked
near Domrani’s house in Moshav Otzem, in the Lachish region.
questioned other Domrani foes – including several members of the Ramle-based
Jawrushi crime family – after the last bombing, there has been speculation that
the blast may have been part of a struggle within the Domrani organization,
speculation that will likely continue to grow following Saturday night’s