Three men were arrested in Jaffa on Monday while reportedly on their way to avenge the death of a man shot in broad daylight in Tel Aviv on Saturday in an apparent mob hit.
Members of an elite police squad discovered a gun in the car of the three suspects, after receiving an anonymous tip. The three will be brought to an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
Lalah was gunned down by masked gunmen while in his silver BMW near HaTachana, a popular tourist destination filled with cafes and shops.
He was killed instantly. Yehuda Dahan, the local police commander, said the killing was “a deliberate hit.”
The killing followed a series of organized crime assassinations this past month, a trend that has set the country on edge.
Earlier Monday, a 34-year-old jeweler in Bat Yam was severely injured in a botched robbery. The assailants fled the scene on a motorcycle with a suitcase full of jewelry. Police discovered the owner on the street with gun wounds to his upper body and arrested two suspects an hour after the incident.
“We do not know what happened there,” the victim’s brother Amir told Ynet. “We are tense and hope he comes out of this.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to put a halt to organized crime in Israel.
“We have recently witnessed several grave acts by organized crime. We are determined to uproot this serious phenomenon and we give full backing to the Israel Police to use existing, and also new, methods against organized crime,” Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. He did not elaborate about the methods.
“It is not the citizens of Israel who need to worry about walking freely in the street, but the members of organized crime families who need to be worried. They must be put in jail quickly,” he said.
Lalah’s murder comes only 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. Earlier this year, two car bombs exploded in Ashkelon in what were also described as mob hits.