jerusalem—When an explosion goes off on a busy Israeli street these days, it seems as likely to be a mob hit as a Palestinian attack.
Rival underworld gangs are waging bloody battles for control of gambling and protection rackets, targeting each other with bullets, bombs and anti-tank missiles. Their battles extend even into the bottle recycling business.
Policemen have been caught feeding information to the mob and smuggling drugs from Egypt. A bodyguard of former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres allegedly moonlighted as a hit man for a crime family.
At least the rise of mob families offers a model for co-existence:
Police officials, speaking on condition on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said a dozen major crime families operate in Israel, and are as ethnically diverse as the countryâs population. Arab and Jewish crime families are known to work together trafficking drugs.
(Hat tip: Bintel Blog)
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