2 killed, 3 injured as gangland car bombing sparks police chase, shootout

Assailant said to hurl explosive at car carrying rivals, as cops tracking them give chase, fatally shoot suspect; suspected gunman shot by cops deployed to Ramle neighborhood

Paramedics at the scene of an underworld car bombing near the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, October 1, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)
Paramedics at the scene of an underworld car bombing near the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, October 1, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)

Two men were killed and two injured in a car bombing and ensuing police chase on Sunday near the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, hours after a deadly shooting in the coastal city of Ashkelon.

Police later shot and critically injured another person who allegedly opened fire at officers in the central city of Ramle, where the crime family suspected of involvement in the bombing is based.

According to Hebrew media accounts, police were in the area tracking members of the Jarushi crime family, who were driving in two separate vehicles, when one threw an explosive at the other.

The car hit with the explosives went up in flames, as the other vehicle sped off with officers launching a chase after the assailants.

Paramedics pulled a 37-year-old man, who was unconscious and lacked vital signs, from the burning vehicle, according to a Magen David Adom ambulance service statement.

He was declared dead at the scene on Route 40 outside of the town of Hatzav, south of Gedera.

A 33-year-old man with moderate wounds was treated at the scene and then taken to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

While in pursuit, police fired shots toward the suspects at the nearby Ram Masmia Junction, killing one and injuring another, according to statements from police and security at the Nahal Sorek Nature Reserve.

Paramedics at the scene of an underworld car bombing near the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, October 1, 2023. (Magen David Adom spokesperson)

Police placed the moderately injured man, a Ramle resident, under arrest. He was later taken to Kaplan Medical Center for treatment, according to Magen David Adom.

Hours later, officers in the Juarish neighborhood of Ramle shot and critically wounded a suspect who opened fire at them, according to a police statement.

Large numbers of local police, Border Police officers and members of the specialized Yasam SWAT unit had been deployed to the neighborhood following the car bombing incident, police said, reportedly due to fears of unrest.

An ongoing dispute in the area between the Jarushi and Karaja crime families has claimed dozens of lives.

The injured person, identified in media reports as a 16-year-old boy, was admitted to Shamir Medical Center, which said late Sunday that doctors were fighting to save his life.

Central District police chief Avi Biton said in a statement that he “fully backs and grants approval to officers opening fire to neutralize anyone who dares shoot at our forces.”

The violence came after a man was shot dead in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, apparently in connection with another gang war.

Magen David Adom ambulance services tried resuscitating the man at the scene of the shooting and he was later declared dead in the hospital.

Police later announced two suspects were detained in connection to the shooting of the 22-year-old and said Deputy Commissioner Amir Cohen, who heads the southern police district where Ashkelon is located, met with senior officers to discuss the investigation.

The man was identified by Hebrew media reports as a well-known criminal, with Channel 12 news reporting that he was arrested two weeks ago.

The report also said the man was a member of the Lavi crime family.

After crime boss Benny Shlomo was killed last year, his organization fractured, with some members reportedly joining the Lavi family, while others chose not to do so.

The two sides are now engaged in a feud.

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