The Tel Aviv District Court set a judicial precedent on Tuesday, and ordered eight men convicted of membership in crime syndicate, racketeering and money laundering to lengthy prison terms.
Marwan Nasser, believed to be head of the crime-ring, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and three years suspended sentence. He was also fined in the amount of NIS 13.5 million (about $3.8 million).
The fine, noted the court, was aimed to dent the syndicate's finances.
A second defendant, Hananiya Azrieli, who the court remanded to house arrest at an earlier date, failed to appear before the court.
Justice Bracha Ofir Tom and the honorable Miriam Sokolov and Yeshayahu Schneller noted that the court was obviously wrong in allowing Azrieli to be placed under house arrest, and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
A third defendant, Shadi Nasser, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, two years suspended sentence and a NIS 1 million ($279,600) fine.
Avi Alon, the syndicate's forth senior member, was sentenced to nine years in prison two years suspended sentence and a $279,600 fine. Raed Sultan was sentenced to five years in prison and two years suspended sentence.
Three other men, found to be holding low-rank positions in the syndicate, were sentenced to shorter prison terms.
Crime syndicates, noted the court, are a plague which the Israeli law enforcement agencies have yet to combat properly. "The urgent need for Israel's Anti-Racketeering Act (passed in 2003) was derived from the clear and tangible danger such organizations pose.
"This act and these measures are aimed at supplying the law enforcement agencies and the courts with the necessary tools to fights organized crime."