Jerusalem police foil mobster hit

4 arrested, including fire brigade commander who allegedly hid bomb to pay off black market debt.

underworld bomb 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
underworld bomb 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Four Israelis, including a senior firefighter, are under arrest for allegedly planning to attack a suspected mob boss in the central region, police said Monday. The suspects, who were apprehended over the last month, have been remanded in custody by a Jerusalem court. The four, including Moshe Lili, who commands the firefighters training course at the Firefighters School in Rishon Lezion, are suspected of being hired by a Jerusalem crime family to attack a rival mob family, the Abergils. Lili denies the allegations, but police say they have sufficient evidence to prove that he agreed to hide the explosive device to pay off a black market debt of tens of thousands of shekels. The hit was thwarted last month when police found the medium-size bomb in the car of one of the suspects, during a search of his vehicle on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. The suspect, Avi Elimelech, 52, who has a criminal record for drug-related offenses, is not cooperating with police. The explosives, police suspect, were stolen from the IDF. The names of the two additional suspects will not be released until a Wednesday court hearing. A gag order, which was partially lifted on Monday, bars publication of additional details. Israeli gangsters control various extortion, gambling, prostitution, and drug businesses - and periodically try to kill each other. Police have identified six major organized crime families who are constantly fighting for control of these underworld operations, which are estimated to be worth about NIS 14 billion a year.