A man was killed and two were injured Wednesday when an explosion took place in the car they were traveling in on one of Israel’s busiest highways on Wednesday afternoon, in a suspected mob hit.
It was the second incident this week of a fatal car explosion involving figures linked to the criminal underworld.
The explosion took place in a Skoda vehicle at the junction of coastal Route 2 with Route 20, near Kibbutz Ga’ash in the central region of the country, according to police.
“The driver was killed, two others taken to Ichilov Hospital,” a police statement said. “Initial indications are the blast was caused by a bomb in the car. Police units are at the site and an investigation was opened to clarify the circumstances of the incident.”
The Magen David Adom paramedic organization said it declared one of the men dead at the scene and the other two suffered moderate and light injuries.
All three men in the vehicle were reportedly in their 30s and known to police. Forensics teams were combing the area and the activity at the scene cause heavy congestion on the highway as rush hour started.
The Hebrew media Walla news website named one of those injured as Alik Ben and reported that police believe he was the target of the hit which, came as part of ongoing fighting among organized crime gangs in the coastal city of Netanya.
Sources involved in the investigation said that Ben was the head of a small gang that apparently came into conflict with underworld figures in the city, according to the report.
Hadashot news reported that sources said that one of the men in the car had tried to assassinate a rival gang member days earlier but his gun had jammed.
On Sunday two men were killed when a bomb went off in the car they were traveling in as it drove through Tel Aviv. Channel 10 reported that one of those killed on Sunday was due to testify in court against a local crime kingpin.