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One killed, two wounded in suspected car bombing in Ashkelon

Incident is second deadly attack in as many days linked to feuding underworld crime families

Police sappers and investigators examine the scene of a suspected car bombing in Ashkelon on February 13, 2022 in which one man was killed and two other seriously wounded (Police)
Police sappers and investigators examine the scene of a suspected car bombing in Ashkelon on February 13, 2022 in which one man was killed and two other seriously wounded (Police)

One man was killed and two others seriously wounded when a suspected car bomb went off late Sunday in the southern city of Ashkelon, police and rescue workers said.

The blast was apparently linked to ongoing wars between crime families in Israel and was the second deadly car bombing in as many days.

The vehicle was traveling on Yitzhak Rabin Street in Ashkelon when a powerful blast went off. One man was killed at the scene and two others were taken to the Barzilai Hospital in a serious condition, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

The victims were not immediately identified.

Police said sappers and investigators were examing the scene of the attack and southern region commander Superintendant Peretz Amar was conducting an assessment of the situation with local police commanders.

This was the second suspected car-bombing linked to organized crime in recent days and comes amid an ongoing gang war between crime families that has killed several people in recent weeks.

Two people were killed and a third man was injured when an explosion ripped through their vehicle early Saturday near the central city of Ramle.

Last Sunday,  a man in his late 20s was shot dead in Ramle near a mosque in Jawarish, a deprived and mostly Arab neighborhood of the city.

Firefighters douse a vehicle after an explosion that killed two people in central Israel on February 12, 2022 (Fire and Rescue Services)

He was identified as 28-year-old Ziad Mughrabi.

According to reports, he was a nephew of a senior member of the Jaroushi family, which has been riven by a suspected criminal feud that has left several people dead over the past year, including a couple and their teenage daughter killed in a drive-by shooting.

Last month, 36-year-old Suhaila Jaroushi, a member of the family, was shot dead in front of her children in the central city, also in Jawarish.

In December, a woman was killed by a car bomb in an attack in Jawarish. A second woman and her baby who were passing by at the time of the explosion were injured. It was unknown if this was also connected to the Jaroushi family in some way.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly by organized crime.

Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

Budget plans passed late last year call for billions of shekels over the next five years to be funneled toward addressing violence in Arab society and developing the community’s economy.

 

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