Mobster Nissim Alperon survived an attempted assassination Wednesday when a car bomb went off moments after he had exited his vehicle, an armored jeep. Alperon was not injured but his bodyguard, 50, sustained moderate wounds in the explosion, which took place near his house on Rashi Road in Ramat Gan.
Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller said that at 3:10 p.m. a loud explosion was reported. Paramedics raced to the scene and found his bodyguard lightly wounded and proceeded to give him care. The vehicle was slightly damaged.
“It sounded like an earthquake,” a witness told YNet. Residents were reportedly very scared by the incident.
Police said the explosive device was likely affixed to Alperon’s jeep. They suspect a rivalry between Alperon and other crime families may be the reason behind the assassination attempt. After an initial evaluation by police at the scene, the case was handed over to Tel Aviv District Commander Gadi Eshed.
Alperon has survived seven other assassination attempts on his life since 2000, Israel Radio reported. He has been arrested for involvement in a range of crimes.
Violence levels related to underworld activities in Israel have increased in recent years.
Nissim’s brother, underworld kingpin Ya’akov Alperon, was killed in 2008 when his car drove over a bomb in north Tel Aviv. That murder was referred to as “an earthquake in the underworld” by the police, Walla News reported, and police are investigating whether Wednesday’s assassination attempt is linked to the death of Ya’akov.
Ya’akov, brother to Nissim, Zalman, and Aryeh and father to seven children, was head of the Alperon crime family — one of the most notorious in Israel. A 13-year-old boy at a nearby bus stop was injured in the blast, as was a taxi driver who was driving behind Ya’akov’s vehicle.
Nissim Alperon was arrested in December 2008 after credible intelligence surfaced implicating him and his brothers in an attempt to avenge their brother’s death.