Police fear a war may be brewing in the underworld following a brazen midday car
bombing in Ashkelon on Thursday that left one senior associate of reputed
mobster Shalom Domrani dead and another gravely wounded.
The car bomb,
which detonated not far from a high school, shook nearby buildings and sent
shrapnel flying dozens of meters in all directions, leaving the car a flaming,
“When we arrived we found the car in flames with thick
plumes of smoke in the air,” Magen David Adom paramedic Zilber Maman
He added that the two men had been pulled out of the car by
passersby, and that both were covered in soot and suffering from injuries
related to the shock wave from the blast.
The men, both in their 40s,
were then rushed from the scene to the city’s Barzilai Medical Center in serious
condition, where one soon died.
Within hours of the bombing, police said
that the case had been passed on to the Lahav 433 national investigative unit,
which handles serious and organized crime.
It was expected that
detectives would soon question Domrani.
The police have placed a gag
order on the details of the case, including the identities of those
Police have long considered Domrani a major target and one of
the country’s top organized crime bosses. Initially based in southern Israel,
his operations have spread nationwide. Over the past several years, he has frequently spent long periods abroad – particularly
in Morocco – to avoid police investigations and feuds with rivals from the
Abergil organization and the Jawrushi family based in Ramle.
years, rivals have tried to kill Domrani and his associates several times,
including one failed plot last year by two Ashdod-based rivals to fire a LAW
anti-tank missile at his house in Moshav Otzem, in the Lachish
Thursday’s explosion was the third deadly underworld incident
this week. On Saturday, an Ashdod man well known to police was shot and killed
outside his house by a man who fled on a motorcycle, and on Monday, Itzik Kisus,
a one-time top associate of mobster Ze’ev Rosenstein, was found shot to death in
the parking garage of his apartment building in Or Yehuda.