Two killed in Rishon Lezion explosion

Two killed in Rishon Lezion explosion

Police suspect bombing is the latest in a series of underworld clashes

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Two people were killed when a car exploded in Rishon Lezion on Thursday morning. Police believed the bombing was an underworld crime rather than a terror attack.

The explosion occurred shortly after 10:30 a.m., and was caused by a bomb attached to the car, Army Radio initially reported. Later, reports indicated that blast had been “a work accident” — a device set off in error by the victims.

The victims were “very well known to police,” the report said. They were named later Thursday as Shmulik David, 28, from Modiin, and Alexander Lerner, 24, from Rishon.

Recent weeks have seen a surge in attempted murders of leading figures in Israel’s organized crime scene, especially in Rishon Lezion. Two weeks ago, two brothers with known ties to organized crime in the city were wounded when a bomb exploded near their car.

In early February another similar incident in Tel Aviv injured two people.

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