Agence France Presse
Published — Thursday 10 January 2013
Last update 10 January 2013 9:10 pm
JERUSALEM: A car exploded near the Israeli defense ministry in Tel Aviv yesterday, injuring several people, in what police said was a crime-related incident and not linked to militant groups.
“A car bomb exploded in Tel Aviv. Apparently it is a criminal incident, a settling of accounts,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
Israeli public radio said three people were injured in the explosion, none seriously.
It said the attack appeared to have targeted Nissim Halperon, head of one of Israel’s top organized crime families.
Halperon has already escaped seven attempted assassinations, including one six months ago in the Ramat Gan suburb of Tel Aviv.
He did not appear to have been in the car when the bomb exploded, public radio said.
Israeli organized crime gangs have been engaged in an often violent struggle in the past few years, prompting the police to create a special task force, Unit 443, dedicated to tackling the issue.
In recent years, around a dozen Israelis are believed to have been killed in violence related to fighting between the various crime families.