Police: IDF soldier helped supply weapons used in Tiv Ta'am bombing

The charge of attempting to cause damage with an explosive device can alone carry a sentence of 15 years in prison.

Tiv Taam market 370 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Tiv Taam market 370
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Tel Aviv police have arrested a career soldier suspected of supplying material to the main suspects accused of carrying out the attempted bombing of a city supermarket in mid- March.
The soldier, who is in his 20s, was arrested on Tuesday along with another suspect in a joint operation carried out by the YAMAR investigative unit of the Israel Police and the special investigations branch of the Military Police.
The soldier will be brought on Wednesday morning to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, where police will seek an extension of his remand.
In late July, the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against three men arrested earlier in the month for carrying out repeated attempts to bomb the supermarket.
Two of the suspects have been identified as Eliran Vaknin, 27, and Effi Jerbi, 28. The identity of the third man indicted has been placed under a court-mandated gag order, which the state is contesting.
The defendants are being charged with a slew of criminal offenses, including conspiracy to commit a felony, attempting to cause damage with an explosive device and manufacturing a weapon.
The charge of attempting to cause damage with an explosive device alone can carry a sentence of 15 years in prison.
Disaster was narrowly averted when an employee at the Tiv Ta’am branch doing renovation work discovered a suspicious package in the supermarket’s storage room. Police sappers came to the scene and cordoned off a wide span of central Tel Aviv stretching for several blocks in each direction.
Police managed to neutralize the bomb without detonating it, and took it in for a forensic exam, which turned up fingerprints belonging to one of the defendants.
The discovery of the bomb came only two weeks after the supermarket was partially torched when arsonists used its ventilation system to filter gasoline and fumes inside. One employee was lightly wounded, and the store suffered serious damage.
That incident followed at least one more case of suspected arson. Police have stated that they believe the attacks were based on a business dispute involving the branch owner and underworld figures.
In May, police in the Lachish subdistrict arrested two IDF soldiers accused of running a bomb-making operation out of a Sderot apartment building. The two, aged 20 and 21, allegedly supplied explosives to criminals in the South. They were arrested after they sold four bombs to an undercover officer, police said.
The soldiers made the bombs partly with materials they stole from IDF weapons depots, police said.