Deadly gang war averted in South
Mobsters sought to use a missile to take out underworld lord Shalom Domrani.
Shimon Portal, head of the Lachish Branch of YAMAR Photo: Ben Hartman
Feuding rival gangsters in Israel’s South plotted to fire a missile at the house
of Ashkelon mob kingpin Shalom Domrani, the YAMAR investigative unit reported on
Had the missile been fired, the situation between the gangs
could have spiraled into an all-out gang war.
The would-be assassins
cased out spots in and around Domrani’s house from where they could take him out
from a distance, investigators said. They even planned to drive a tractor to the
cemetery at Moshav Otzem, close to Domrani’s house, and use the vehicle to reach
a height from which they could shoot a missile at the building. The hit team
also attempted to acquire an M- 14 sniper rifle with telescopic sight to use in
Police have arrested four suspects in total, including Dudu and
Meir Megidish from the Megidish crime family, as well as Gabi Etedgi and Pini
Police said an indictment is expected to be presented against
them next week in the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court. The suspects face
charges of attempted murder, possession of weapons and ammunition and conspiracy
to commit a crime.
At a press conference at the Ashkelon Police
headquarters on Tuesday, Ch.- Supt. Shimon Portal, head of the Lachish Branch of
YAMAR, said police informed Domrani of the threat on his life last
Domrani had just returned from Morocco, where he had relocated in
order to escape the heat from police investigators.
Portal would not
answer whether or not he believes police saved the life of Domrani, considered
one of Israel’s top underworld figures and a longtime target of police
During the press conference, Portal revealed the existence
of the four-month undercover investigation, which had been under a gag order due
to the sensitivity of the case and the fact that police had an informant
operating within Domrani’s organization.
Though the case eventually
involved ongoing attempts by rival mobsters to leave a trail of blood throughout
the South, the entire investigation began after a single act of wanton violence
by an ex-con holding a serious grudge.
According to Portal, in August of
this year, Mizrachi, who had recently finished serving 10 years for
manslaughter, threw a fragmentation grenade into the home of Raziel Revach, a
member of Domrani’s organization – who he bore an “obsessive” grudge
A young child and an elderly woman were both in the house at the
time of the attack, but miraculously, the grenade failed to explode, Portal
Since Revach was well known to police, YAMAR investigators took
over the case, and soon an ever more complicated and severe case came to
After Mizrachi failed in his attempt to kill Revach, police said
he contacted the Ashdod-based Megidish crime family, close associates of the
Abergil crime family and blood rivals of Domrani for control of the
“Megidish saw in Mizrachi someone who could do their dirty work
for them,” Portal said. He added that the Megidish brothers gave Mizrachi a 9mm.
pistol to kill Revach and top Domrani associate Momi Mosentini, and also began
to work on getting a sniper rifle and a missile to use in a hit on Domrani and
other members of his organization.
Portal would not say what type of
missile they planned to use in the hit.
Shoulder-fired missiles have been
used by Israeli mobsters in the past, including in 2006, when hit men fired a
LAW missile at the car of Assi Abutbul in a failed attempt to kill the Netanya
Lachish District Commander Supt. Yoram Sofer said “this case
involves a criminal organization that will stop at no means to reach its goals,
including risking the lives of innocent civilians.”
“We had two
difficulties; trying to get as much evidence as we can against this gang and
also avoid any harm to the lives of innocent civilians. In the end, when we
figured out that we couldn’t wait any longer and we had enough evidence, we
moved in and made the arrests,” said Portal.
He would not confirm whether
or not the conspiracy was being orchestrated behind the scenes by the Abergil
organization, in order to have Mizrachi kill Domrani.
attorney, Sheila Dorfman, said that her client has denied all of the allegations
against him, and has kept his right to remain silent throughout the
Dorfman also referred to the allegations as “nothing more
than police gossip,” and said that the defense will focus on questioning the
reliability of the police informant’s testimony against her client.
man in question is a known criminal, and who knows what the police promised him
so that he would testify?”
Revach, who jump-started the entire case, is the
brother of Yaniv Revach, an associate of Domrani who was driving the mobster’s
car in July 2003 when hitmen opened fire on the car attempting to kill the mob
boss. Domrani was not in the car, but the hail of gunfire took the life of
Revach’s girlfriend, 16-year-old Shaked Shalhov, in a case that shocked the