(photo credit: Courtesy ZAKA)
A car bomb killed two men in central Rishon Lezion on Thursday morning, the
latest of several criminal explosions in the central region in the past few
It was unclear whether the men died in a mob hit, or whether they
were transporting a bomb that went off prematurely – what police refer to as “a
Hours after the explosion, police named the dead men as
Shmulik David, 28, from Modi’in, and Alex Lerner, 24, from Rishon
Both were known to be members of a local criminal
Police detained three suspects in connection to the
incident, including one who was detained near the scene of the explosion. By
midafternoon, officers had obtained a sweeping gag order restricting the
reporting of almost every aspect of the investigation, which the YAMAR central
investigative unit will handle in conjunction with the Lahav 433 National Crime
The explosion took place on Yekinton Street near the Rishon Lezion
Magistrate’s Court, where the Mazda was parked in the parking lot of a
residential tower. The bomb exploded shortly after the two men entered the car,
and before it began moving, witnesses said.
Pictures released afterward
appear to indicate that one man was sitting in the back seat behind the driver
when the car blew up.
For two years, rival members of the Abergil crime
family and other organizations from west and east Rishon Lezion have waged a
gang war over control of gambling and extortion rackets in the city. Several
people have died in the fight in recent years, though up until now they have
been innocent bystanders.
On January 10, in central Tel Aviv, reputed mob
boss Nissim Alperon fled from his car moments before a bomb that a motorcyclist
had planted on its side exploded.
On February 9, brothers Shaul and Yaniv
Peretz were wounded in south Tel Aviv’s Tel Kabir neighborhood when their car
exploded while parked next to a kiosk.
That explosion is also under
investigation as a likely “work accident.”