Southern District police on Sunday arrested seven men they say were involved in a conspiracy to bomb a major underworld figure in the Sharon area, thus preventing yet another criminal bombing in Israel.
The seven men were arrested during and after a raid on a house in Ramat HaSharon, where police reported finding a bomb that was ready to use.
Though they were initially described as associates of major crime families – reported Shalom Domrani’s organization from Ashkelon and Rico Shirazi’s crime family from Netanya - the suspects are not well-known underworld figures and it is unclear what their connection is to the criminal organizations in question.
Regardless, on Monday the seven suspects were brought to two separate remand extensions at the Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court, where they were all ordered kept in custody for a week while police work on their case.
The seven are being held for weapons charges and could face charges for assault, after a number of them reportedly fought with police during the raid. According to police, one officer was lightly injured during the brawl.
Crime boss Shalom Domrani himself is currently under indictment for murder and weapons charges, as part of a major police case involving a bloody underworld feud in southern Israel. The case was built on the testimony of a mob enforcer turned state witness, and brought indictments against Domrani and 28 of his associates.
This past year has not been kind to Rico Shirazi either, following his sentence in December to 8 years in prison for money-laundering, fraud, threats, and tax crimes involving some NIS 25 million. Last July he was also indicted as part of the wider “Case 512” which has seen a series of top Israeli underworld figures indicted on serious crimes including murder and drug trafficking stretching back more than a decade.
Also Monday, seven members of a criminal gang from Eilat were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two years to 26 years for a series of organized crime charges. The head of the gang, Ilan Ben-Sheetrit was given a 26 year sentence and a fine of NIS 1.18 million. The case involved charges including murder, extortion, and operating illegal gambling operations.