A man was shot to death by masked men in an underworld next to the Tel Aviv beachfront on Saturday afternoon, in what police believe was an underworld hit. The shooting took place next to the “Tahana” complex next to the beachfront in south Tel Aviv at a time when the area was full of hundreds of innocent bystanders visiting the area on Shabbat.



The victim was named as 27-year-old Taher Lala of Jaffa, a man who was in the past a subject of police investigations in the district. Police said Saturday he was killed as part of a feud with rival criminals in Jaffa and his murder is being investigated by the special YAMAR unit.



Lala was sitting in the drivers seat of a four-door silver BMW when several shots were fired into the drivers side window by men police and witnesses said opened fire from a passing vehicle.



A couple hours after the murder, Tel Aviv Police Chief Bentzi Sau announced that he had put district police on a higher level of readiness, cutting vacation time and beefing up patrols in the wake of the killing. He said that since the murder is linked to a feud in Jaffa, most of the heavier patrols would be focused on Jaffa, where they will pursue people and places of interest “with the intention of protecting the way of life in the area”, in the words of Tel Aviv police.



Saturday's shooting came less than a week after a man, Ezra Mirachi, was killed in a car bomb in Kfar Shalem in south Tel Aviv, and is the latest in several underworld incidents that have killed four people in less than two weeks in central Israel.



In November, not far from Saturday's shooting, a Jaffa man was shot and killed also in broad daylight, on Yehuda Hayamit street. That shooting also took place on a Saturday afternoon on one of the busiest streets in the area when it was full of visitors. 



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