Two longtime allies in Israel's criminal underworld seem to have parted ways in a brawl over the weekend, and police are anticipating revenge attacks following their dispute over an unlikely enterprise for gangsters - bottle recycling.
If television criminal Tony Soprano's cover job was "waste disposal", it turns out that the infamous Alperon and Abergil families are following in the fictitious mafioso's footsteps.
The Alperon family reportedly entered the recycling business over a year ago, after discovering that bottle returns - with each bottle valued at 25 agurot - could be lucrative. Police believe that the organizations may use the industry to launder money.
Alperon brother Ariyeh was arrested a year ago under suspicion that he threatened Herzliya restaurateurs that he would harm them or their businesses if they did not hand over their used bottles to him.
According to reports, the break between the Alperons and the Abergil families came after the former received word that the latter was gathering bottles in Ramat Gan and moving in on the recycling enterprise.
The crime families allegedly scheduled a summit meeting on Thursday at the Sh'ar Hair Building in Ramat Gan to hammer out a solution. One of Yitzhak Aberigil's men, 27-year-old Bat Yam resident Motti Hassin, was stabbed in the leg in the brawl, and - depending on reports - Abergil himself may have been scratched in the forehead by a knife. If so, he wouldn't have had far to go to dress his wounds - the crime boss lives in the tony apartment building where the meeting was held.
Police are checking which representatives of the top crime families were present at the Thursday meeting. Among the names that have been floated was that of Dror Alperon, paratrooper son of Alperon patriarch Yaakov. His uncle, Aryeh was almost certainly present.
It is almost exactly a year since Dror's first run-in with the law during a similar brawl that broke out during a meeting of top mob leaders in Herzliya. In that fight, someone from the Alperon camp - allegedly Dror - stabbed crime boss Amir Mulner, injuring him.
The Alperons and Abergils were allied for years against then-crime overlord Ze'ev Rosenstein, but without the external threat of the Rosenstein (now Mulner) syndicate, the relationship between the two families seems to have chilled.
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