The brother of the suspect in the Bar Noar LGBT center shooting played a role in
the slaying of a high-level police informant in 2006, according to testimony by
a witness aired on the Channel 2 program Uvda on Monday night.
witness is also shown saying he told police investigators he knew Yaakov
Felician, brother of Bar Noar murder suspect Hagai Felician, was involved in the
killing of informant Ayal Salhov, Yaakov’s closest childhood friend, but that
police did not follow up on the testimony and determined he was not a
The story becomes more complicated because the
witness in question is also the key witness in the Bar Noar killings, a man upon
whom the state has built almost their entire case against Hagai Felician.
According to the Uvda episode, that same witness was determined by police to be
not trustworthy when it came to the murder of Ayal Salhov, killed by a single
gunshot wound to the head in a remote area of Pardess Katz on October 7,
Salhov’s murder is a lingering sore spot for Israeli police, an
embarrassing affair in which they were unable to protect a state witness from
being killed by his associates, even though he had told them repeatedly he
feared that they were onto him and his days were numbered. In fact, when Salhov
told his handlers he feared he’d been exposed, they arranged for him to throw a
hand grenade at Central District Police headquarters in Ramle, a stunt that
instead proved to his associates that he was working with police, according to
the witness interviewed by Uvda.
At the time of Salhov’s death, the head
of the Central District’s investigative branch was future Israel Police chief
Dudi Cohen, and the head of the intelligence and investigations department was
current chief Yohanan Danino.
Salhov was a high-ranking associate in Avi
Ruhan’s crime family. He’d started out in his adolescence as a low level Pardess
Katz criminal, pulling burglaries and selling drugs and firearms in the
neighborhood. Over the years Salhov’s reputation grew and he became one of
Ruhan’s top men, all the while he had at his side his best friend – Yaakov
Salhov’s widow is also a sister of the Felician
In the year before his death, Salhov became an informant for
the Central District Police, giving them an inside line on the Ruhan gang for
several months until things began to fall apart.
On the Uvda episode, the
witness says he was at Yaakov Felician’s apartment in Ramat Gan years ago when
he accidentally happened upon a video of the murder of Salhov playing on
He also said Felician panicked when he thought that
he had lost the gun that killed Salhov. The program also includes Salhov’s
father telling the cameras he suspects Felician played a role in his son’s
Yaakov and Hagai’s brother Benny was also arrested on suspicion of
taking part in the Bar Noar killings but was later released and not indicted.
According to police, the motive for the murders was a sexual assault Benny
experienced at the hands of the manager of the Bar Noar at the time. In July,
another Felician brother, 15-year-old Or, died after falling from a construction
site in Bnei Brak.
Yaakov was also arrested over the summer for the rape
of a female attorney, but was later released to house arrest.
hours before the episode aired, Israel Police sent out an email saying the
program “represents two serious violations – firstly of the journalistic ethic
requiring that you attain a response before making a criticism, and secondly an
apparent violation of the gag order on the case.”
“Contrary to Uvda, we
are required to observe the gag order dealing with the investigation and
therefore are unable to contest the material presented,” the police statement
continued. “The promo [for the show] says they have a recording that will shake
the police brass. It’s fitting to say at this juncture that no one in the police
is shaking. These are issues we know well, and due to the gag order over the
case, we are not able to elaborate further.”