Police sappers on Sunday evening “neutralized” a bomb at a Tiv Taam branch on Ibn Gvirol Street in central Tel Aviv, in the latest attempt to destroy the store.

In the late afternoon, police cordoned off Ibn Gvirol next to Rabin Square for a couple of blocks to the south and the north, causing serious traffic delays.

Around 7 p.m., sappers were able to render the package safe, and police confirmed that it was an explosive device, and not merely a “suspicious object.” Sappers took the remains of the device to a lab for further examination.

Police said the investigation was focusing on the attempted bombing as a criminal, not nationalist, act.

The store’s manager, Adi Cohen, said at the site of the blast on Sunday that the bomb was inside the branch’s storage room, and was discovered by one of the employees working on renovation work.

He said he has no idea how long it had been there before it was discovered.

When asked why he thinks the bomb was placed at the store, Cohen said, “I have no idea where this is coming from or who would want to do this, we’ve never been threatened before.”

On March 12, a fire that broke out at the same Tiv Taam branch caused an explosion in the ventilation system. Police said the arsonists used the store’s ventilation system to filter gasoline and fumes into the store, causing an explosion around 3 a.m. The blast lightly wounded one employee and caused serious damage to the store, which is still undergoing renovations in order to reopen. That blast followed two similar previous arson incidents at the store.

After the blast on March 12, Tel Aviv police set up an investigative task force to probe the background to the repeated attacks.

Cohen said that the employee injured in the earlier blast was still hospitalized.

At 8 p.m., police were still carrying out searches in the store and in nearby locations.

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