The brother of a top organized crime figure in southern Israel was gunned down early Saturday morning while sitting in his car near Kiryat Gat, sparking fears of renewed underworld violence in the South.
Victim Shalom Shlomo, 40, was the older brother of Benny Shlomo, who runs a criminal organization based in southern Israel from their family compound on Moshav Heletz. Shalom was also heavily involved in the organization, though Benny is considered the brains behind the operation.
Shlomo’s driver was lightly wounded in the attack, and is not believed to have been the target.
Both brothers are known throughout Israel for a war they and their allies have waged in recent years against southern mob boss Shalom Domrani and his allies in central Israel, including the Lavi brothers.
That feud saw a series of car bombings and shootings in the South, especially Ashkelon, in late 2013 and the following months that put the spotlight on underworld violence in Israel.
Benny Shlomo was himself a top lieutenant of Domrani’s until he left a few years ago to start his own organization, sparking a blood feud with his former boss.
Police received a call about the shooting about 1 a.m. Saturday and took both men to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where Shlomo was pronounced dead.