Homeless man aims empty missile launcher at Tel Aviv store, is arrested

Man points the M72 LAW at shop over an apparent romantic feud; claims to have been drunk and high during the incident

A homeless man is seen pointing a M72 LAW toward a store in Tel Aviv, August 14, 2021. (Israel Police)
A homeless man is seen pointing a M72 LAW toward a store in Tel Aviv, August 14, 2021. (Israel Police)

Police officers arrested a homeless man armed with a portable missile launcher in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

The man had pointed the M72 LAW anti-tank missile launcher toward a store in the city over his “affection” for an employee and a conflict he had with a man working with her, police said.

Officers who were called to the scene arrested the 40-year-old suspect and confiscated the launcher. Reports said the missile launcher was empty.

The suspect’s lawyer said he was struggling with a personal financial crisis and was addicted to drugs, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

It was unclear how the man had got his hands on the missile launcher, which is in use by the Israel Defense Forces. Such launchers have sometimes been used in mob violence.

The suspect told police he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the incident, according to Army Radio.

Police confiscated the M72 LAW from the homeless man in Tel Aviv, August 14, 2021. (Israel Police)

“The suspect is cooperating with investigators,” his lawyer, Yossi Shiloah said.

During Saturday’s incident, one of the store’s employees ran out toward the suspect with a sharp object, the radio station reported. He was briefly detained.

It was unclear if he was the same man who was apparently feuding with the suspect.

The suspect was brought before the Tel Aviv district court on Saturday, and he was ordered held in custody until Tuesday.


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