Fifteen years after his father was killed in a mob hit that launched a scandal that shook the Israel Police, friends and loved ones laid Yossi Buhbut to rest in Ashkelon on Sunday, the day after he was shot to death outside his mother’s apartment in the city.
Police say the motive for the murder was “romantic,” and that Buhbut was involved with a woman from northern Israel who was linked to a criminal who operated in the North. According to police, the feud followed Buhbut to the South.
As of Sunday night, Lachish subdistrict police said they had made no arrests in the investigation into Buhbut’s murder.
It was a bloody end for Buhbut, a 28-year-old who had no shortage of run-ins with the law during in the 15 years since his father’s death. An associate of the Beersheba-based Zaguri brothers crime family, Buhbut had done prison stints for extortion and other offenses, including a four year bid for throwing a grenade at the house of Artzi Halfon, a journalist for a Negev newspaper who had been covering the Zaguri brothers organization.
Buhbut’s father, Pinhas Buhbut, was himself a major criminal in southern Israel who was murdered in Tel Hashomer Hospital in 1999. The suspected murderer was Tzahi Ben-Or, at the time a police officer, who had allegedly been contracted by the Perinian brothers to carry out the hit. Ben-Or himself was later murdered in an apartment in Mexico in 2004 after fleeing Israel.
The case, known as the “Perinian Brothers Affair” shook the Israel police and in particular the Southern District. It was alleged that a number of senior officers were connected to the Zaguri brothers and managed to hinder the investigation. Among other fallout, the scandal led to the early resignation of then police commissioner Moshe Karadi.