(photo credit: )
An explosion rattled a Givatayim car wash owned by underworld figure Nissim Alperon early Wednesday afternoon in what may have been the latest attack in the gang wars for which Israel has become infamous.
Nobody was injured in the blast, which was heard and felt at the nearby stock exchange. Police forces streamed to the scene and discovered damage to the facility's southern wall.
Asst.-Cmdr. Haim Karimka, Commander of the Dan Subdistrict, said that police believed that the explosion was caused by an explosive device that had been placed near the wall, adding that they were looking into whether the blast was an attempt to kill Nissim or Arieh Alperon, who were both present at the time. Nissim Alperon's attorney, Shai Nudel, said that none of the family members on the scene had been injured.
The Alperon family has been involved in a series of underworld attacks, mostly involving two rival organizations, those of Amir Mulner and the Abutbul family.
Two months ago, Nissim Alperon was taken in for questioning after two gangs, representing Mulner's syndicate and the Alperons, drew pistols during a brawl in a Tel Aviv restaurant on Sunday.
In January, Mulner was stabbed in a fight, allegedly by Nissim Alperon's 18-year-old son Dror, during an underworld summit at the beginning of January at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.
Prior to today's bombing, Nissim Alperon has survived eight recorded attempts on his life in the past five years as part of an alleged battle between so-called crime families over gambling in Israel and abroad and other illegal activities.
In the summer of 2005, Alperon survived two such attempts within the course of six weeks, including one in which he was attacked by gunmen while riding his motorcycle near Caesarea Harbor.
As a result of the ongoing violent struggles among alleged organized crime syndicates, the United States State Department added a paragraph warning would-be tourists that violent confrontation between underworld organizations has led to the death and injury of innocent bystanders. While the warning, which was issued in February, was met with a barrage of criticism, it has not been removed.
Nissim Alperon's troubles with the Givatayim facility are not restricted to yesterday's explosion.
The Israel Land Administration (ILA) is taking action to evict businessmen Reuven Gavrieli and Nissim Alperon from two sites in the northern Givatayim industrial area, on the border of Tel Aviv.
Plans are underway to renovate the industrial area, which occupies 84 dunams (21 acres) adjacent to the Ayalon highway, and turn it into a commercial and residential area. This prompted authorities to begin removing illegal occupants.