Car explosion scene in Rehovot 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Police)
A new mob hit struck the country’s center on Monday morning, when a bomb exploded in a car while a father and son were driving in Rehovot, badly injuring both men.
The two victims, a father and son aged 48 and 21, lived on the same street and had just left their house when the explosion rocked the Kfar Gvirol neighborhood. Both men are well-known to investigators from the Shfela subdistrict.
Magen David Adom paramedics who arrived at the scene said they found the two victims lying on the road next to the car with severe burns and injuries caused by a shock wave, mainly in the upper body. They began to give them first aid at the scene and evacuated them to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, MDA added.
On Monday night Shfela police announced that they had arrested 10 suspects linked to the crime, including a number of top associates of the Lavai brothers crime family, based out of Rehovot.
The organization is closely linked to mobster Shalom Domrani’s Ashkelon-based outfit.
These have been waging a war over the past couple of years with associates of the Shlomo brothers from Moshav Heletz, former Domrani associates who broke off from their boss’s organization.
The current feud between the brothers and Domrani is the cause of the recent spate of bombings that targeted Domrani’s associates in Ashkelon in October and November.
The Shlomo brothers are also linked to the Arab-Israeli Jawrushi crime family based out of Ramle, which has also feuded with Domrani over the years.
When asked, police said that the father and son were identified with the Shlomo brothers, though it is unclear if one or both of them was targeted by the bomb, which police believe was remote-detonated.
Rehovot has been the scene of an ongoing struggle in the underworld over control of gambling, loan-sharking and other criminal interests in the Shfela region.
In April, Yisrael Amar was gunned down in broad daylight in a mob hit on Herzl street, the city’s main thoroughfare.
In June, three suspects were indicted for their alleged role in that murder. All three of the suspects are natives of Rehovot’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, who police say are linked to the Lavai brothers.
Monday’s incident is the third underworld car bomb in the past two weeks, including ones that left men badly wounded in Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Yam.