Two Jaffa residents were arrested Sunday evening on suspicion of involvement in the murder of alleged Jaffa underworld figure Taher Lalah on Saturday near the crowded Tel Aviv boardwalk.
The two were arrested after a lengthy police chase. They were brought in for interrogation at the Central District police station.
27-year-old Taher Lalah was shot Saturday by two masked assailants while he sat 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 arrested on Saturday, who are also suspected of involvement in the murder of Lalah.
Earlier 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.
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 as well, calling on the government to strengthen the police force by employing more police officers.
“It can’t be that the number of police officers per capita, including the Border Police, is lower [in Israel] than Switzerland,” Shahal said in 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, police began examining the legality of employing Shin Bet techniques, including administrative detention, in order to combat organized crime.
JTA contributed to this report.