The simple refusal to give a discount on a gym membership was enough to drive a Tel Aviv man to throw a fragmentation grenade at a gym in Azor Tuesday night, while the business was open and members were working out inside, police said Wednesday.
No one was hurt in the attack, but serious damage was caused to the entrance of the business.
Tel Aviv police spokeswoman Orit Friedman said the crime shows the startling ease with which criminals can get their hands on explosives, saying “this shows how easy it is to get explosives and how readily they’re willing to use them. They don’t see any need to get a gun, they’ll just go and grab a grenade or a bomb and that’s it.
“This is where things stand today. Over one little thing, a discount at a gym, he was willing to throw a grenade, even though if someone had been outside at the time they could have died,” Friedman added.
The suspect, Shuki Kostika, was caught within an hour of the grenade attack and was taken for a remand extension on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, where he was ordered kept in custody until Sunday.
Last Tuesday, an assailant on a motorcycle hurled a grenade at a currency exchange store outside the Petah Tikva shuk, wounding five bystanders in an incident that was seen as the latest outrage in an underworld crime spree that has seen more than 20 killings including over a dozen car bombs since last October.
Police said the Petah Tikva attack was part of a feud between local criminals, and last week they announced the arrest of 27-yearold George Ben Adeh, the brother of Chico Ben Adeh, the nephew of Avi Ruhan and one of the top associates in his gang, considered among the largest criminal organizations in Israel.
Because of their easy attainability and low price, fragmentation and stun grenades as well as remote-detonated bombs have become the preferred weapons of both small-time and senior criminals across Israel.