Cops probing if blast in central Arab town was caused by bomb-laden drone

Explosion in Jaljulia investigated as part of an attempted hit on underworld crime figure, in second such incident this week

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)

A loud blast was heard Wednesday night in the central Arab town of Jaljulia, with police investigating whether it was caused by an explosives-laden drone as part of an attempted underworld killing.

Police said in a statement that officers found parts of a drone while searching the area “and are examining the circumstances, particularly its transport methods.” The force added that the pieces would be sent to a forensics lab for testing.

Nobody was injured as a result of the blast and there were no reports of damages.

The apparent target was not identified, but the Ynet news site described him as familiar to police, a euphemism for a suspected crime figure.

If confirmed, the incident would be the second of its type in a week, after a bomb-carrying drone was used in an apparent hit attempt Sunday on a crime boss in the coastal city of Netanya.

That bomb detonated on a balcony outside the apartment of Ben Butbika and his wife, damaging it and shattering the windows, but the two were not injured.

Butbika, who is feuding with several rival gangs, survived a car explosion last year, a firebombing of his home, and a shooting.

In January, police arrested seven suspected of attempting to carry out a similar attack using an explosive drone in Jaffa.

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