The names of three suspects arrested in the killing of mob chief Benny Shlomo, who was gunned down in broad daylight this week, were cleared for publication on Friday.
Mu’ayad Milad, Ale Salah and Mohamed Salah are all residents of Ramle in central Israel. The identity of a fourth suspect, who allegedly helped the assailants escape, remains under a court-imposed gag order until at least Sunday.
All four men are in their 20s.
Police also alleged Friday that the group were hired guns sent by a third party to kill Shlomo in exchange for a large payment.
The suspects are linked to the Jarushi crime family, though the Ynet news site said Friday that they were likely no longer actively involved with the group at the time of Monday’s deadly shooting near the town of Azor.
On Monday, three of the suspects were arrested as they drove near the city of Gedera in the hours after the killing. Mohamed Salah was arrested separately at Ben Gurion Airport just minutes before he was to board a flight out of the country.
An unnamed police official told Ynet that Shlomo was “pursued” and that “he lived within a fortress” at his home in southern Israel “surrounded by walls, he didn’t move without security guards” around him.
“It’s clear that someone set a trap for him, it’s clear that someone betrayed him and it’s clear that he wasn’t warned,” the official said.
Surveillance footage from the scene of the killing showed a white vehicle pull into the gas station where Shlomo was before a pair of gunmen emerge from the vehicle and pursue him.
Shlomo was repeatedly shot at point-blank range by one gunman, who then returned to the vehicle and fled the scene.
Shlomo’s bodyguard Vladislav Povolotsky was also wounded in the incident and remains in the hospital.
An off-duty cop — who was fueling 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 then carjacked a woman on the other side of the road. They managed to get away unharmed in the stolen vehicle, the reports said.
The police’s initial assessment was that Shlomo’s death was orchestrated by longtime criminal rival Shalom Domrani, and are investigating the possibility that Domrani forged an alliance with the powerful Arab Israeli Jarushi crime family in order to carry out the suspected hit, the Haaretz daily reported.