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The two foreign hit men believed to have arrived in Israel to kill leading mob boss Itzik Abergil were hired by people from the competing Alperon crime family, police investigators believe.

Last week, Haaretz reported that the police had warned Abergil that they have "credible" intelligence that the hit men have entered the country.

Police learned recently that at least two contract killers, believed to be from the Commonwealth of Independent States, had come to Israel at the behest of a rival crime family, which is embroiled in a vendetta with the Abergil crime syndicate.

Investigators had until recently regarded the Alperon family and the Abergils as close allies. The relationship, police sources say, has apparently deteriorated in the recent months.

The latest vendetta of the Abergil family apparently involves the Alperon crime organization. Their rivalry is believed to be fueled by competition over bottle recycling in central Israel, a business that earns millions of shekels annually and is largely controlled by the underworld.

An incident that received a great deal of public attention occured last January, at the entrance to the Sha'arei Ha'ir building in Ramat Gan, where Abergil lives. Yaakov and Aryeh Alperon, along with some of their gang, are suspected of attacking Abergil there, along with one of his cronies, Mottie Hassin, who was moderately injured. Abergil, believed to be the head of a major underworld organization, has made a number of powerful enemies and survived several assassination attempts. He is also believed to have sent out killers to deal with his enemies.