Tiv Taam market 370.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Three men have been arrested by Tel Aviv police in connection to repeated attempts to bomb a Tiv Taam branch on Ibn Gvirol street in the center of the city.
The first suspect was arrested on July 1 and remains in custody, while the other two were arrested Sunday morning. The three men are suspected of being contracted by a third party to torch and, in a second incident, bomb the store.
Police would not comment on who the third party criminal figure is, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.
The two suspects arrests Sunday, 26-year-old Eliran Vaknin of Hadera and Efraim Jerbi, 28, of Kfar Yonah, were brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Sunday night where their remands were extended until Thursday.
During the court hearing police said they have forensic evidence taken both from the scene and the homes of the two suspects that implicates them in the crime.
Disaster was narrowly averted this March when a worker at the Tiv Taam branch doing renovation work discovered a suspicious package in the supermarket's storage room. Police sappers came to the scene, cordoning off a wide span of central Tel Aviv stretching for several blocks in each direction.
Police managed to neutralize the bomb without detonating it, and took it in for a forensic exam which turned up fingerprints belonging to the suspect arrested at the beginning of July.
The discovery of the bomb in March came only two weeks after the supermarket was partially torched after arsonists used the store's ventilation system to filter gasoline and fumes into the store. The store caught fire around 3 a.m., lightly wounding one employee and causing serious damage to the store.
That incident followed at least one more suspicious arson attempt at the store in months previous.
The suspects could potentially face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, illegal possession of firearms and illegal use of an explosive device.