Anti-mob state attorney targeted in Tel Aviv car bomb; none hurt

Explosion near Central District State Attorney’s Office aimed at top prosecutor who aggressively pursues organized crime groups

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

Screen capture from Channel 2 showing the aftermath of a car explosion in Tel Aviv on November 7, 2013.
Screen capture from Channel 2 showing the aftermath of a car explosion in Tel Aviv on November 7, 2013.

A car bomb destroyed the vehicle of a senior prosecutor in the Central District State Attorney’s Office in Tel Aviv Thursday evening in yet another incident believed to be linked to organized crime.

No one was hurt in the explosion.

According to police, the car belonged to a senior member of the state prosecution who led the cases against major crime organizations and was considered an aggressive prosecutor.

The vehicle was parked outside the Central District of the State Attorney’s Office, on Dafna Street near the Ichilov Medical Center, when it exploded shortly before 6 p.m. The District Court and office of the public defender are located alongside the State Attorney’s Office building.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the most senior official in the state prosecution system, visited the site of the explosion Thursday night.

The investigation of the case has been handed to Lahav, a special police unit consisting of some 1,000 officers charged with combating and dismantling organized crime groups, according to Yarkon District Police Commander Yehuda Dahan.

While the prosecutor’s name was previously reported in the media, a court placed a blanket ban Thursday night on identifying him.

The prosecutor in question had prosecuted five senior members of the crime organization headed by Amir Mulner, successfully appealing rulings for their release. He was involved in further investigations targeting the organization.

Police, Magen David Adom ambulances and sappers were called to the scene in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, and searches were underway in nearby buildings and streets.

The explosion comes after a series of shootings and explosions perpetrated in recent weeks by criminal organizations in several major Israeli cities, including two incidents in Ashkelon in just two weeks.

The latest incident took place not far from an assassination attempt against a suspected crime boss in January, when a motorcyclist pulled up to Nissim Alperon’s vehicle in northern Tel Aviv and threw an explosive device at the car. Alperon escaped the attack unharmed.

Last month, a powerful car bomb exploded in the southern city of Ashkelon in what police said was an assassination attempt by a criminal organization against a rival group. One person was killed and another severely wounded in the explosion.

The two victims, police said, were senior members of the Domrani crime family, and authorities feared that a spate of revenge killings in response to the bombing would occur.

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