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Still sporting mourner's beards, the two oldest brothers of the Alperon family, Nissim and Zalman, appeared yesterday in Tel Aviv Magistrates Court. Nissim, who was arrested on Sunday in a police raid on a coffee shop, was remanded along with three other suspects for another week. Zalman was there in support of his brother.

The police raided the coffee shop where Alperon and the other men were meeting, claiming the group was planning the revenge of third brother Yaakov Alperon, who was murdered three weeks ago.

Alperon and 18 others, identified as members of the Alperon crime family by police, were arrested at the Cacao Espresso Bar near the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan.

A loaded pistol was found in the motorbike of Gideon Holler, one of the suspects. Holler's deceased father, Mike, was a crime reporter.

Most of the suspects were released by yesterday morning, but Aharon Ronen and Ronel Salameh were kept in custody along with Holler and Alperon.

Packed courtroom, tight security

The courtroom was tense and packed, with security tight for everyone entering.

Zalman Alperon refused to comment, saying, "Nissim said not to talk."

Alperon's lawyers claimed that all he was doing when arrested was enjoying a meal with friends, and even small children were present.

Judge Zion Kapah ruled that if he were to disclose the details of the conspiracy the police attribute to Alperon, it would fan the flames and could possibly lead to further unnecessary bloodshed.

The judge noted there was concrete intelligence and investigative information against the suspects, before he ordered their remand extended.

Police hinted at the recent arrest of Amir Mulner under similar circumstances, when police found a silenced pistol. Mulner is suspected of possible involvement in the murder of Yaakov Alperon.