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In what is suspected to be a gang-related attack, a 56-year-old man was in serious condition after being shot in Rishon Lezion Wednesday by a man on a motorcycle.
The incident is thought to be connected to two other shootings which happened two weeks ago in Tel Aviv. In all three cases, police suspect that the motive derives from a dispute which erupted between Israeli gangs operating in New York 20 years ago.
In Wednesday's event, the man on the motorcycle shot the victim multiple times while the latter was in his car. The wife of the victim then attempted to apprehend the shooter, but was unsuccessful. Police later found the gun, which had been discarded by the attacker as he fled.
On February 1, 60-year-old Ran 'Freddy' Efrayim was also gunned down in a drive-by shooting, only steps away from his south Tel Aviv apartment.
Efrayim, an art dealer, was allegedly part of the infamous New York Gang - an Israeli drug smuggling ring that operated in the Big Apple at the height of the cocaine craze of the eighties. He only returned to Israel in recent years after a long period in the US.
On January 31, known criminal Shuli Rokach was seriously injured when a bomb exploded in his vicinity.
In the late eighties and early nineties, the so-called New York Gang collapsed at the height of its power, as rival gangsters in the syndicate broke into two factions and began to kill each other off.
While the bloodbath related to the gang's break-up seemed to stop in the early nineties, police believe that the hits picked up again in 2003. Since that year, three key players in the gang have all been murdered - and all three murders (the latest being Efrayim's) remain unsolved.
The now-defunct gang was established by a group of Israeli drug dealers and gangsters who decamped to New York and set up a cocaine and heroin smuggling ring.
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