(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Southern crime boss Shalom Domrani will remain in custody for three more days, after his remand was extended a
second time in a tangled case involving allegations he conspired with a Netivot
rabbi to threaten a rival rabbi and influence the recent mayoral
The remands of four other men – two Domrani associates, an aide
of Rabbi Yoram Abergil and the rabbi’s brother Avner – were also extended on
Sunday afternoon for three days.
The case involves allegations that
Domrani threatened the “X-ray rabbi” Ya’acov Ifergan, on behalf of his longtime
rival Netivot Rabbi Yoram Abergil.
Ifergan and Abergil supported rival
mayoral candidates in the October 22 vote, and police believe the threats
allegedly made by Domrani and his people represent a grave example of organized
crime using violence or the threat of violence to influence Israeli
On Sunday, Abergil was released to house arrest. He posted
bond and must stay out of Netivot for the time being.
During the hearing,
Domrani’s lawyer Moshe Sherman asked police about a statement Domrani made to
Ifergan’s aide, telling him that “people are trying to hurt Rabbi Abergil, and
this could end differently.” What this what they were referring to when they
said Domrani had threatened the rabbi, Sherman asked.
representative said yes.
Domrani also said he received a call from
Ifergan’s sister Bruriya Zvulon, a well-known rebbetzin and borer (“arbitrator”)
for the underworld. He said they spoke for eight or nine minutes, and that he
then called Ifergan from his wife’s phone, knowing that it would be tapped by
“The rabbi told me to come and see him and speak to him,
otherwise why would I go if he didn’t ask me? There’s been a wiretap on this
phone for years and suddenly now there’s no recording?,” Domrani asked police in
Zvulon was placed on house arrest on Friday, on suspicion of
tampering with the investigation. She is staying at a hotel in the central
region, police said in court on Sunday.
Last Saturday, police arrested
Domrani at his house in Moshav Otzem, in the Lachish region, and stopped Abergil
from boarding a plane to China at Ben- Gurion Airport. They arrested five other
suspects including members of Domrani’s organization, part of a case that Public
Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch made public on
Aharonovitch said police had arrested a major organized crime
leader, and the next day it emerged that the case was linked to threats Domrani
allegedly made against Ifergen, who supported candidate Ayal Mesika in the
recent election. His opponent Yehiel Zohar was supported by
Zohar won his sixth consecutive term with 58.4 percent of the
votes, against 41.6 percent for Mesika.
Police believe that Abergil had
Domrani threaten people close to Ifergen, including having him contact the rabbi
and his associates to “send them a message.”
The arrest of Abergil has
sparked large protests by his followers in Netivot and elsewhere, including one
on Saturday night in Jerusalem during which hundreds of supporters gathered at
the Bar- Ilan junction, with some throwing rocks. Police arrested 28
Also last week, protests were held in Ashkelon and outside the
headquarters of the police’s LAHAV 433 National Crime Unit in Lod, where Abergil
was being held.