Police said Thursday that they had thwarted a car bombing in the central city of Lod, which they suspect was part of an underworld dispute.
Officers discovered the explosive device, which had been planted under the intended victim’s vehicle in a residential neighborhood of the city, on Thursday morning and called in sappers, who safely dismantled the bomb and took it away for analysis.
The commander of the Central District, Avi Biton, said “we foiled another disaster today within the Arab community and prevented an attack in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Lod.”
Separately, in an undercover operation in Lod Wednesday, police reported that they had arrested a suspect in his 20s in possession of a number of firearms.
Police are under intense pressure to turn the tide on violent crime in Arab communities after a mass shooting on Wednesday in the northern Bedouin town of Basmat Tab’un that killed five members of the same family.
The Abraham Initiatives anti-violence advocacy group said the shooting raised the number of Arabs killed in violent circumstances in Israel since the start of the year to 188, compared to 80 during the same period in 2022.
Many Arab community leaders 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 communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities.
Experts say powerful Arab gangs have amassed large quantities of illegal weapons over the past two decades and are involved in drugs, arms and human trafficking, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.