Mob-linked Netanya eatery targeted in stun grenade attack

By
April 7, 2009 15:19
1 minute read.

Netanya police shut down three restaurants owned by the Abutbul family on Tuesday after one of the establishments was targeted in a stun grenade attack the previous day. Netanya Police chief, Dep.-Cmdr. Ron Gratner, ordered the closure of three branches of the Bat Haikar restaurant in the city. The manager of the Netanya industrial zone restaurant which was the scene of Monday's grenade attack was detained for questioning by police. The restaurant is owned by alleged underworld figure Francois Abutbul. The grenade fell near a car parked next to the restaurant, but failed to cause damage or injuries. Police subsequently recovered a moped they suspected to have been used in the attack, a Netanya police source told The Jerusalem Post. The restaurant is a few doors away from a kiosk that was the scene of an attempted murder of Charlie Abutbul, Francois's uncle, on September 8. Abutbul and three civilians were injured in the hit attempt. Abutbul is currently in police custody after being arrested last week over suspicions of violent offenses. His lawyer, Miron Rozental, said the allegations were fabricated by police, and denied his client was guilty of any wrongdoing. Sharon District prosecutors have said they plan on indicting Abutbul in the coming days. The Abutbuls have reportedly been entangled in a prolonged conflict with the Shirazi family in Netanya. Police have attempted to shut down the Bat Haikar restaurant in the past, as well as the Shirazi-owned Gahalim restaurant, but a court overturned decrees to close the establishments. Police have routinely stationed officers outside the Bat Haikar restaurant, resulting in a decrease in customers for a while, but business has reportedly rebounded in recent months. Police have targeted the Abutbul family with raids and arrests regularly since launching Operation Brake Lights last fall, aimed at curbing organized crime in the city.


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