Members of crime family arrested following Ashkelon hit

Police Chief Danino vows to wage an unyielding war on organized crime after car bomb kills associate of mobster Shalom Domrani .

Ashkelon car bomb 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Israel Police )
Ashkelon car bomb 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Police )
Six men linked to the Domrani organized crime family were arraigned in the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Saturday night, after a police round-up following a deadly car bombing in Ashkelon.
Thursday’s attack killed one associate of mobster Shalom Domrani and badly wounded one his top lieutenants.
The six men brought under arrest are not accused of playing any role in the hit. They are accused of obstruction of justice, for breaking into a building near the scene of the bombing to steal CCTV footage shot before the attack.
Police said the footage might help identify who fixed the bomb to the car, which detonated mid-afternoon on Thursday, blowing the legs off Avi Biton, a well-known Domrani associate, and killing his assistant Jackie Benita.
Police made the arrests in an effort to prevent a wave of revenge attacks on the part of Domrani’s organization that might ignite a mob war.
The six men, who include a cousin of Biton, are believed to have stolen the footage so that police couldn’t use it to identify and arrest the perpetrators before revenge could be taken.
Attorney Ari Kadri, who represents members of the Jawrushi crime family from Ramle, rivals of Domrani, said that on Saturday that eight people associated with the Jawrushi family were taken for questioning to police headquarters in Lod. They were released after six hours.
On Friday, Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino called a meeting with senior commanders at the headquarters of the LAHAV 433 National Crime Unit in Lod. He vowed that police would wage an unyielding war on organized crime.
“The assassinations and attempted hits in recent days between different organized crime figures are grave by any measure and the Israel Police will not take them lightly,” Danino said, adding that police would deploy all units of LAHAV 433, the Central Investigative Unit and the Counterterrorism Unit.
The bombing that shook an Ashkelon neighborhood on Thursday took place not far from a high school and a kindergarten, and sent debris flying dozens of meters in every direction.
Based in southern Israel, the Domrani crime family is one of the biggest organized crime operations, with gambling, protection and other interests nationwide.
Thursday’s bombing took place the same week that a former top associate of mobster Ze’ev Rosenstein was found shot dead in the parking garage of his house in Or Yehuda, and that a Lod city councilman was seriously wounded in a shooting the night before Tuesday’s municipal elections.