Ashkelon car bomb 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Police )
After the second car bombing in Ashkelon in less than two weeks, the Southern
District police on Sunday began deploying dozens of police and Border Patrol
officers to the city as part of what they say is an effort to restore the
feeling of security amid ongoing underworld violence.
Ben-Amo, the spokesman for the Southern District, said the reinforcements
include around 70 officers “both blue and green” (regular police and Border
Police) from across the district, as well as plainclothes detectives, mounted
cops, and officers from the Border Police undercover “101 unit.” Lachish
subdistrict detectives are also being reinforced by additional detectives from
the Negev subdistrict, who will help them work the car bomb
Ben-Amo said the deployment is meant mainly as a show of force
meant to comfort residents concerned about the recent mob violence.
addition, he said that the reinforcements would also be patrolling local clubs,
kiosks and restaurants checking business licenses and tax documents. He added
that part of the rationale for such enforcement is that many of these businesses
are linked to the protection and extortion rackets that provide a major source
of income to organized crime gangs.
Dror Damari, the man who was wounded
in Saturday night’s bombing was in stable condition in Ashkelon’s Barzilai
Medical Center on Sunday afternoon, though he lost both of his legs in the
blast. Nine days earlier, Avi Biton also lost his legs in a car bombing in
Ashkelon, while his driver Jackie Benita perished of his wounds not long after
the blast. Both men, like Damari, are affiliated with the criminal organization
run by Shalom Domrani, a major force in the south of Israel with interests
In a Facebook picture that circulated widely in Israeli media
on Sunday, Damari appears in a picture he posted the day after the first
bombing, in which he can be seen with Benita and Biton, under the caption “such
In a post only minutes before the blast Saturday, Damari had
posted “have a good week,” which was met by over a dozen condolences after the
Like in the previous week’s blast, police investigators will
attempt to trace the whereabouts of the car before the blast, in an attempt to
pinpoint where and when the explosive device was planted.
previous blast, Domrani associates managed to make their way to the parking
garage where Biton’s car had been parked before the bombing, and made off with
the CCTV footage showing the planting of the bomb.
Police presume the men
took the footage in order to try to identify the killer and get to him before
MK Nachman Shai (Labor), a member of the Knesset’s
Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, on Sunday, called for Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu to appoint a special task force on crime, in the wake of
“It is clear that the police have failed in dealing with
the rise in crime and the sophistication and means at the disposal of crime
This is a clear and present danger to public
Shai’s comments followed ones made by both National Police
Commander Inspector- General Yochanan Danino and Southern District Commander
Yoram Halevy Saturday night, in which they described the recent blasts as being
equivalent to terror attacks in their severity and that the battle against
organized crime is like that against terror organizations.
afternoon the national police headquarter announced the arrest in Ramat Gan of
three members of Amir Mulner’s crime organization accused of firearms offenses.
The charges are not related to the gang war in the south police said.