(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Almost five months after Sharon Mizrachi was shot to death while sitting in his
car in Bat Yam, police on Wednesday arrested three men they suspect took part in
the murder, believed to be part of an internal struggle within the Abergil crime
Mizrachi, 29, had a long record of arrests, and was a well-known
member of the criminal underworld in the Rishon Lezion-Holon-Bat Yam
The style of the murder resembles “red riding hood” type killings,
where the victim is called for a meeting by a criminal associate he trusts, and
then murdered at the scene.
The suspects include Ben Saban, Ran Amar and
Noel Abergil. Police said Wednesday they expect further arrests in the coming
Attorney Carmel Betto, representing Saban in the Tel Aviv
Magistrate’s Court, said his client has denied any connection to the crime,
adding – like both of the other defendants’ attorneys – that he was a good
friend of Mizrachi and that there is no evidence against him.
last September took place about a year after a string of murders in the Tel Aviv
area. Police believe they were ordered by Abergil family leader Moti Hassin, who
took the reins of the organization after former leaders Itzik and Meir Abergil
were extradited to the US in January 2011.
Hassin and three of his
soldiers were indicted last March for two of those killings, including the
murder of Avi David outside a Bat Yam steakhouse in October 2010, and the
killing of Itzik Geffen, who was gunned down outside a gas station next to
Wolfson Medical Center in Holon two months later.
In both cases, as in
the killing of Mizrachi, police said they believe the victims tried to cross
over to different criminal gangs in central Israel, and Hassin and other
high-ranking Abergil figures were trying to send a message to those considering
Saban himself was the subject of an attempted mob hit
outside the Coliseum club in Tel Aviv in 2010, and survived a gunshot wound to
The attempted hit was in retaliation for the stabbing of an
inmate in a shower room at Rimonim Prison by Saban
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