Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday to put a halt to organized crime in Israel, following a mid-day hit the previous dat near the crowded Tel Aviv boardwalk.
“We have recently witnessed several severe actions by organized crime. We are determined to uproot this severe phenomenon and we give full backing to the Israel Police to use existing and new means against organized crime,” Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“It is not the citizens of Israel who need to worry about going around the streets freely but the members of organized crime families who need to be worried. They must be put in jail quickly,” he said.
On Saturday, 27-year-old Taher Lalah was shot by two masked assailants in his car at a bustling tourism spot, a refurbished old railroad complex called HaTahana, adjacent to the Tel Aviv boardwalk. On Sunday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended until Wednesday the remand of Ziad Hamad and Osama Hanun, both suspected of involvement in the murder of Lalah, an alleged Jaffa underworld figure.
The murder comes a week after a man was killed in a car bomb in a southern Tel Aviv neighborhood.
A car bomb in Petah Tikvah two weeks ago killed two in what is believed to be an accidental detonation prior to a mob hit, referred to as a work accident. Earlier in the year, two car bombs exploded in Ashkelon in what were described as mob hits.
On Sunday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended by three days the remand of two suspects, aged 24 and 34, on suspicion of attempted murder in a Holon kiosk last Thursday.
Former police minister Moshe Shahal reacted to the attacks, calling on the government to strengthen the police force by employing more police officers.
“It cannot be that the number of police officers per capita, including the Border Police, is lower than Switzerland,” Shahal said during an interview with Channel 2.
The former police minister went on to suggest that the government place more security cameras throughout the country.
“I would double and triple the number of cameras everywhere, just like the rest of the world,” he said.
According to Channel 2 News, police began examining the legality of employing Shin Bet techniques such as administrative detention in order to combat organized crime.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report