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Court releases prime suspects in hit on Israeli crime boss Benny Shlomo

Police to appeal the decision; move comes after two other suspects believed to have been involved in the murder were released last week

This combination photo shows Benny Shlomo (top left) and the scene where Benny Shlomo and another man were shot in a suspected assassination in Azor, October 3, 2022. (Channel 13 screengrab, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)/(Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
This combination photo shows Benny Shlomo (top left) and the scene where Benny Shlomo and another man were shot in a suspected assassination in Azor, October 3, 2022. (Channel 13 screengrab, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)/(Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The prime suspects in the murder of Israeli crime boss Benny Shlomo near Tel Aviv early last month were ordered released from custody Monday, Hebrew-language media reported.

Two brothers from the Jarushi crime family were released by the Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court after police could not provide new evidence or any significant progress in the case.

Police said they would appeal the decision to the Beersheba District Court.

Last week, two other members of the Jarushi family suspected in the case were also released by police.

Three of the suspects were identified last month as Mu’ayad Milad, Ale Salah and Mohamed Salah.

Shlomo was gunned down in broad daylight by a pair of masked suspects at a gas station in Azor, a suburb of Tel Aviv, on October 3.

Underworld figure Benny Shlomo is chased by a gunman just moments before his death on October 3, 2022. (used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An off-duty cop who was filling up his motorcycle at the scene when the shooting began pursued the gunmen as they drove away from the gas station, according to Hebrew media reports. As he pulled up beside them, the assailants rammed their car into his bike.

The policeman, who wasn’t injured, shot at the culprits as they abandoned their vehicle and carjacked a woman on the other side of the road. They got away, apparently unharmed, in the stolen vehicle.

The crime family run by Shlomo is a bitter rival of Shalom Domrani’s criminal organization. This year, the sides have apparently stepped up attacks against each other. In May, police intercepted a Domrani hit squad that was reportedly on its way to kill a senior member of Shlomo’s gang.

Shalom Domrani seen in a Rishon Letzion court in August, 2011. (Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90)

Avi Bitton, known by police as a “moneyman” for Domrani’s gang, was killed in a car bombing in the southern city of Ashkelon in February.

Shlomo himself has survived several assassination attempts over the years. His brother, Shalom Shlomo, was shot to death in 2015.

Domrani was released from prison last October after serving six years for two attempted murder convictions, and has since then allegedly been working to strengthen and financially rehabilitate his organization.

His exit from prison came after Shlomo was also released last August, having served time for assault.

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