Two killed, one injured as blast rips through car near Ramle in suspected mob hit

Police open investigation into incident that comes amid escalating gang war between crime families in the area

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

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, police and medics said.

Police said they had opened an investigation and sappers were examing the scene to determine the cause of the blast.

Hebrew media called the blast an apparent mob hit. It comes amid an ongoing suspected gang war between two crime families in the area that has killed several people in recent weeks.

The explosion occurred as the vehicle was traveling on a road near the Dahamash neighborhood between Ramle and nearby Lod.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said medics responding to reports on an explosion in a vehicle found three people lying next to the wreckage of the car. Two of them showed no signs of life and medics declared them dead.

A third person was taken to hospital in a moderate condition with wounds to the chest and limbs, medics said, adding that he was conscious and stable.

All 3 victims were men in their 30s. They have not been identified.

On 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.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: