Israel Police announced Monday morning that a massive investigation into central crime organizations led to the arrest of some 50 individuals. Police claimed that the arrests are connected to several of the worst murders that have happened over the last couple of years.
Police raided the homes of dozens of suspects across the country, where they seized vehicles, property and accounts.
"This case deals with a series of incidents and suspicions of offenses committed in Israel and abroad, serious and organized crimes that include violence and drugs, committed by dozens of suspects, some identified with the activity of crime organizations," a police spokesman said.
The suspects will be brought for a remand extension on Tuesday. Their attorneys denied all allegations attributed to their clients.
In addition to solving murder cases - some of the most serious in Israel's history - police will try to convict some of the suspects of belonging to a crime organization.
In recent years, criminal organization were responsible for a series of serious incidents including killings and criminal attacks that rocked the country and remain unsolved to this day.
"One of the biggest and most important investigations that Israel has ever conducted in the field of organized crime will be reported in the coming days," Police Chief Yohanan Danino said, adding that he could not explain further at present as the issue remains largely under gag order.
Danino praised the Israel Police saying, "We've seen a dramatic decrease in crime. Serious and organized crime as well as murders were at their lowest levels in two decades as were robberies and criminal shootings."
"You're not reading all of these things," said Danino. "Last week I read a headline: Every three days someone is murdered in Israel. In the subhead: The good news is that this is the lowest number in the last two decades." Danino said that the murder rate in the US is 4.5 times higher than Israel for every 1000 residents. During the last year, he said, there were even fewer murders in Israel than in Switzerland.
Danino also said that the effort against organized crime includes attacking funding of the criminals, an effort he says he's worked on his entire career. "Last year we laid our hands on NIS 434 million in the fight against criminals in Israel. We've invested a lot in serving the public."
"It's important for you to know that you have quality police," continued Danino. "For whoever wants, I'll show him the evidence outside. I all the evidence and it's enough for you to see the telephone calls I get from police chiefs around the world."