Three people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a gas explosion which destroyed a building in Acre last week, killing five people and injuring 12, according to information cleared for publication Wednesday.
The identity of the suspects was not released. Police officials told Channel 10 news they expected additional arrests in the coming days.
Police said last week that the deadly blast that leveled a three-story building in the old city of Acre was increasingly looking like a criminal act and not an accidental gas leak.
Neighbors and relatives of victims have claimed as much, saying the explosion happened as part of an ongoing quarrel.
Local residents reported a longstanding dispute between the building’s landlord and tenants over the placement of cellular antennas on its top floor. Attempts had reportedly been made to sabotage them in the past.
Many Israelis fear antennas cause ill health effects and violent protests have been held in the past to oppose their placement.
Police told Army Radio they believed the suspect or suspects may have opened a gas canister in the building and placed incendiary material next to it, causing the explosion.
Dozens of people have been questioned in the case.
The brother of one of the victims was threatened last week after publicly claiming that the explosion was a criminal act. Police Commander Eli Asayag told Maariv that Khaled Bader received numerous threats telling him to leave the old city of Acre within three days because he “informed” to police.
The blast that caused the collapse occurred around 2 a.m. on Monday morning. The first two bodies discovered at the scene before daybreak were identified as Muhammad Bader, 43, and his wife, Hanan, 39. The second two bodies were identified several hours later as another couple: Najah Sarhan, 35, and her 40-year-old husband, Ra’ek. Rescue forces shortly afterward found the body of their eight-year-old son, Hamed, in the rubble.
Aron Dónzis and Lazar Berman contributed to this report.