Hadera mayor blames rivals for Molotov attack

Haim Avitan says "campaign of incitement" to blame after a motorcyclist threw a Molotov cocktail at his car, warehouse set alight.

Hadera 311 (photo credit: Leon Stern/Buy Property In Israel)
Hadera 311
(photo credit: Leon Stern/Buy Property In Israel)
A motorcyclist threw a Molotov cocktail at the mayor of Hadera’s car on Tuesday night, before fleeing as the car went up in flames.
Less than an hour earlier, a warehouse holding much of the city’s supplies for the upcoming Purim parade was also set alight.
Coastal Region police are still checking if there is a link between the two incidents, and have passed over the investigation to the district branch of the YAMAR investigative unit.
Though the investigation is not yet complete, Mayor Haim Avitan’s office was quick to place the blame on his political rivals in the city.
“On Tuesday night all red lines were crossed... ever since the city council was dissolved there has been a wild, unprecedented campaign of incitement waged by a number of officials who don’t support his war against crime,” the city hall said in a statement on Wednesday.
They also said that the attack, which took place outside Avitan’s house while his wife, children, and grandchildren were at home, was a deliberate attempt to shatter the city’s way of life and disrupt upcoming Purim celebrations for the city’s children.
The city said that regardless of the damage the parade would go on as planned.
The statement also alleged that those responsible are former members of the city council, which was dissolved in October 2010 after it could not pass its budget.
In an interview on Wednesday morning on Army Radio, Avitan said it was “only a matter of time” until one of his rivals would try to attack him, adding that he has the incident on tape and he trusts the police will find those responsible.
He also said he knows exactly who is responsible, claiming “there are all types of political officials who operate worse than the mafia.”
On Wednesday, Public Security Minister Itzhak Aharonovich commented on the attack, saying “I must condemn this incident with all severity. This is not the first time that mayors have been threatened. I spoke with him [Avitan] and met with him and police officers from the Coastal District in order to shed light on this serious case.”