Police Say Tel Aviv Car Bomb Was a Mob Hit, Not Terrorism

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A car bomb exploded in the Israel city of Tel Aviv on Thursday, but despite the obvious assumption, police say the explosion was not an act of terrorism. The bomb, which ignited a car parked near the Israeli defense ministry, appeared to be detonated by nearby motorcyclist, who was later caught and arrested. The blast also hit a passenger bus parked nearby, but thankfully, the bus was empty at the time. At least four people were wounded, but there are no reports of any deaths.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the attack appears to have been an assassination attempt on Nissim Alperon, a known crime boss who survived eight previous murder attempts in the last decade, including several that involved bombs. Alperon's brother, Yaakov, was killed by car bomb in 2008 and their family has a long-running violent feud with another organized crime family. Nissim Alperon's car was also bombed just last summer, but he escaped unhurt.

This video was shot by an eyewitness shortly after the explosion (via @mpoppel):

Back in November, a bus bomb in Tel Aviv wounded 28 people, but that was set off during the time of the Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza. Hamas militants reportedly took credit for that explosion, which ended a nearly six-year run without a major terrorist incident in the city.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.