Yaakov Alperon, the head of one of Israel’s most notorious crime families was killed Monday when his car exploded in Tel Aviv. Read more on Yaakov Alperon’s death below.
Yaakov Alperon was killed while driving his car in the center of the city with son Dror, who was charged with extortion and blackmail.
“This was an extremely serious incident whose consequences are clear to us,” Ilan Franco, head of the police Tel Aviv district, told reporters at the site.
“This incident was probably part of an underworld power struggle in Tel Aviv and possibly beyond Tel Aviv,” he said.
Police are now afraid this elimination of crime boss, Yaakov Alperon could spark a more terrible war in Israel’s underworld.
“The Alperon family will first check who was behind the explosion and then they will react,” former top police officer David Tzur told the Ynet news website.
Another police official told AFP that “there is no doubt that the assassination of such an important figure in the underworld in the heart of Tel Aviv can unleash a spiral of violence.”
Army radio said the assassination was probably part of an ongoing violent dispute between Alperon and another crime family over the control of recycling plastic bottles. They wanted to have control over that industry.
Two bystanders, including a 13-year-old boy, were also wounded in the car bomb explosion, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Witnesses said the blast was huge.
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“A white car blew up and its driver fell out on the road. The explosion was huge,” said Yonathan Haefrati, 42.
“We heard a huge explosion that shook the ground. Lots of ambulances came streaming in very quickly,” another witness said.
There have been a number of deadly attacks in Israel’s criminal underworld in recent years that have also claimed the lives of innocent bystanders.