Cops target rival gangs battling in central Israel
Police detain 5 members of Ben Moshe's Tel Aviv gang after a nearly fatal case of mistaken identity in a shootout and car chase.
Arrest [illustrative]. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post
A nearly fatal case of mistaken identity in a shootout and car chase in Petah
Tikva in January led police to launch an investigation against two rival gangs
from Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva that went head to head over recent months in a
feud that police feared would any day take a civilian toll.
A gag order
on the investigation was lifted on Monday, when the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court
extended by two days the remands of five members of a Tel Aviv- and Jaffa-based
crew headed by Moshe Ben-Moshe, which police say has spent the past 10 months
embroiled in a feud with a Petah Tikvabased gang.
Both gangs are involved
in drugs and arms dealing, and began feuding over “issues of honor,” according
to Chief Inspector Nissim Dawudi, deputy head of the Lev Tel Aviv
The five men were first brought to court last Thursday morning,
after they were arrested earlier in the morning.
In addition to Moshe
Ben-Moshe, they include Ben-Moshe’s brother Ayal Ben-Moshe, Aharon Levy, Shmuel
Alfendari, and Rahamim Borochov.
Dawudi said that over the past 10 months
the feud has been fought with a series of shootings, bombings and molotov
cocktail attacks, and would have eventually taken a deadly toll if allowed to
The Tel Aviv branch of the YAMAR central investigative unit
began actively investigating the gang on January 23, after a case of mistaken
identity almost cost two innocent civilians their lives.
how on that day, several members of Ben Moshe’s gang were casing a house
belonging to the rival gang, when they saw two men drive by them on motorcycles.
The men were of approximately the same height as their rivals, so they began to
give chase, Dawudi said, tearing after the two motorcyclists with the intent of
running them over and making the accident look like a hit-and-run.
two motorcyclists realized they were being followed and stopped and faced the
mobsters, pulling off their helmets to show they weren’t the men they were
Dawudi said Ben Moshe’s gang immediately went back to
stalking their rivals, posting up in cars with binoculars and casing the
walkways their rivals took to synagogue or to work, waiting to gun them
By Thursday evening, police had built a profile of Ben Moshe’s
organization and identified five central suspects they said were involved in
planning a series of failed mob hits.
“We’re certain that we managed to
stop a number of murders through this investigation,” Dawudi said
The rival gang is headed by Oz Soref and Victor “Vivi” Atias,
neither of which have been arrested as part of the investigation.