Hours after police arrested five people thought to be enroute to assasinate notorious alleged Israeli mobster Asi Abutbul, senior criminal Ya'acov Alperon turned himself in to police at his home in Ra'anana.
Alperon, who allegedly stabbed underworld kingpin Amir Mulner three weeks ago along with his son, was thought by many to have handed himself over to protect his son.
His son had since mysteriously disappeared.
Alperon, a senior member of the Alperon crime family and brother of Likud central member Moshe 'Mousa' Alperon, purportedly knifed Mulner, a chief police witness, during an 'underworld summit' turned violent at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Alperon said that he himself was badly assaulted and did not have time to attack anyone.
"At the end of the meeting a fight broke out. I myself was hit continuously and then I left. Disappeared. I was hit by fists and was wounded, and didn't even respond. I didn't have time. I was hit, and received a concussion and left for fear of death. I don't know who attacked me, not by him [Mulner], but I was attacked and I escaped as fast as I could."
Analysts assessed that Alperon handed himself over to the police in order o protect his son, who was inexperienced in handling interrogation and would likely hurry to confess or divulge information about other mobsters.
If the analysis was correct, however, many also suspected that it would backfire and end up exposing Alperon's son to the vengeance of Mulner, known in the underworld as ruthless and unforgiving.
Mulner was hospitalized in moderate condition and the Tel Aviv District Police went on high alert following the incident, with expectations that the stabbings would set off a round of gangland hits.
Described as the criminal world's rising star, Mulner, 33, had been named as the heir apparent to jailed kingpin Ze'ev Rosenstein, who is awaiting extradition to the US to stand trial for running an international drug ring.
Mulner was said to have been a major player in the Israel gray market and is closely connected to the Abutbol and the Mousli crime families.