Scene of car explosion, Tel Aviv, November 7, 2013 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
A shrapnel-packed bomb detonated inside a car belonging to a top Tel Aviv District prosecutor who handled a number of organized crime cases, near the courthouse in north Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.
No one was injured in the bombing, which could be heard throughout the area, and shook nearby buildings, according to witnesses. The blast not only left the prosecutor's SUV a tangled and scorched shell, but also totaled a car to its right and caused serious damage to a third vehicle.
Speaking at the scene, Yarkon subdistrict Commander Yehuda Dahan said police view the incident as “very severe”, adding that the bomb contained pieces of shrapnel which had been placed inside of it. He said that the case had already been passed from the responsibility of Tel Aviv Police to that of the national LAHAV 433 serious crimes unit.
One witness said he was with his wife and kids inside their house a few doors down when they heard the blast and he rushed to the scene to help put out the blaze. When asked what he though it was, he said “we though car bomb, if it happens in Ashkelon, why not in Tel Aviv”, referring to the two mob car bombings over the past two weeks in the southern Israel city.
At a yeshiva only a block away, a group of yeshiva students said that they heard the blast, which shook the building, and ran outside to bring a group of kids at a nearby playground inside their bomb shelter. A few of them said that they had also been at the yeshiva when the bus bombing during Operation Pillar of Defense last November and that tonight's blast was louder, though they admitted it was also a couple of blocks closer.
The prosecutor, whose name is covered under a gag order police secured Thursday night, was known for working a number of high-profile cases involving Israeli underworld figures, including one that involved southern crime boss Shalom Domrani, and another against several associates of top organized crime figure Amir Mulner.
After the bombing both Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador arrived at the scene, where they said the incident crossed all lines. Around the same time, the Justice Ministry issued a statement on behalf of themselves, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the Attorney General, and the State Prosecutor's office, in which they said of the incident that “we stand behind the law enforcement officials who are on the front lines in the battle against organized crime”, adding that “we are certain that these acts will not deter them.”
The head of the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's office Attorney Efi Nava said of the bombing “we view with great severity the attempt to harm a prosecutor from the Tel Aviv district office. This crosses a red line and must be dealt with strongly and with zero tolerance.”