As part of the police campaign to eliminate organized crime, a special body was set up in the Lahav 433 unit to deal with the phenomenon of explosive devices used for the purpose of keeping score in the criminal world, aiming to not only reduce assassinations but also to prevent innocent bypassers from getting hurt.
The quiet lasted for a few years but the police couldn’t sustain applying pressure for much longer, and cars began exploding once again.
On Wednesday, at around 2:50pm, it happened on the Coastal Highway—an explosive device detonated on a Skoda vehicle—killing one and leaving two others moderately and lightly wounded. The men, who were in their 30s, are known to the police for property and drug offenses and are reportedly Netanya natives.
The police investigation revealed that the target of the assassination attempt was not the eventual casualty but rather one of the other two passengers, who apparently was arrested two years ago on suspicion of assaulting a member of a criminal family, and the car bomb was the family’s way of extracting revenge. However, other scenarios are being examined.
The investigators estimate that the car was under surveillance and the device was detonated by remote control. By all indications, the bomb was attached to the front of the car.
Fortunately, no innocent bystanders were harmed. After the bomb exploded, the car hit the guardrail and then stopped. Two of the wounded were evacuated by MDA to Ichilov Hospital at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
Wednesday’s assassination attempt was exceptional due to the fact that it had taken place on a crowded Highway.
Earlier this week, at the Hatikva neighborhood in Tel Aviv, two men were also killed in a car bombing, who according to the police, were members of the Musli crime organization. The senior of the two men, Uzi Bar Zion, survived an assassination attempt two months ago in Holon. The other one, Elad Sardanioff, was supposed to serve as a witness for a prosecution during a trial currently being conducted against a head of a criminal family.
A similar incident also occurred in May when Ali Amer from Kafr Qasim was killed by an explosive device, also detonated by remote control, planted in his car while he was driving near the Elishama junction in the Sharon Region.
Last November, a 30-year-old man was killed after an explosive device detonated while he was driving along the Ayalon Highway.
These cases have a common denominator that points to a worrisome conclusion: the criminal world has raised its head once again and feels free to carry out assassinations, which can easily harm innocent people.
Another indicator of that is the attempted assassination of a well-known criminal Ben Cohen a few weeks ago at Tel Aviv's Kikar HaMedina. Unidentified men shot toward his car, which was empty at the time of the incident. Cohen lost his legs in January 2016, after an explosive device exploded in his vehicle.
Another serious incident took place a few weeks ago in Jaffa after suspects opened fire at a family standing next to their home. A five-year-old boy was left critically wounded.
A police source summed up the situation, emphasizing that criminals once again “feel free to plan and carry out complex and dangerous assassinations."