Israel Police struggle with the fighting between underworld crime groups

In the last year, the Israel Police has been called upon to handle hundreds of explosive devices, either planted or already exploded, as part of the fighting between underworld crime groups. A criminal explains the reasoning: “With a bomb, you have practically no chance of getting caught. Because its really simple- you stick it onto a car and keep walking.”
Explosives become the hottest weapon in the criminal underworld Photo credit: Yakov Menusa/ Channel 2 News

Behind an ordinary looking door in an old building in Jaffa resides the District of Tel Aviv’s explosives laboratory- the inner sanctum of the people who are meant to clean up the mess left by criminals on the streets. The neutralized and the exploded bombs all end up here and in recent years, more and more are being brought in.

“Over the last year, we handled over 500 cases of criminal sabotage,” said Superintendent Yaniv Fadida. “You haven’t heard of most of them because we prevented them in time. We used to see that primarily larger crime organizations would use explosive devices but today even the smaller ones are using them.”

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A recent incident made a lot of noise when a bomb exploded in Israeli singer Margalit Tzan’ani’s car. The lab in Tel Aviv noticed that the bomb that was planted in Tzan’ani’s car was almost identical to the explosives that had been planted for businessman Meir Shamir and soccer player Koby Musa. This was the first clue in the incident’s investigation.

Tzan'ani's car after the explosion Photo credit: Israel Police/ Channel 2 News

Most criminals prefer using explosives because they leave very little evidence behind. “Planting a bomb is an easy job,” says a ‘soldier’ in the criminal underworld. “When you come to commit a crime with a gun, your chances of being caught are 80%. With a bomb, you have practically no chance of getting caught. Because its really simple- you stick it onto a car and keep walking.”

Besides the difficulty that police have in catching the culprit, the cost for the criminals is minimal: “You can buy some explosives for anywhere between 2,000 to 10,000 NIS,” explains another criminal. “Some military-grade explosives can cost even more. There are criminals who are willing to pay more in an hour of need.”

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