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In an underworld hit gone wrong, a Ramle teen was killed by a stray bullet in a downtown square late Wednesday night. Central District police yesterday searched for the suspects in the murder, after 17-year-old Yiftach Mor Yosef was killed when two motorcyclists aiming for underworld figure Einav Cohen shot the teen in the head.

"The boy was in the wrong place at the wrong time," a senior central district police officer said yesterday. "This is a battle between criminals which unfortunately can be dubbed routine in this area - it happens almost every week. The bullet could just as easily have hit fifteen centimeters to the right of the boy's head and then we wouldn't even be talking about the event. But the criminals will stop at nothing and open fire in the middle of a downtown street near innocent bystanders."

According to Central District homicide unit chief Micha Levin, the police had no concrete tips of plans to kill Cohen, who is well-known to Ramle and central district police for property and drug offenses. Wednesday night, Cohen was standing near his car not far from the Ramle police station and courthouse, when two men on a motorbike sped past and one opened fire. Cohen tried to flee, but the assassin fired several bullets, some of which hit Cohen in the upper body.

Several bullets missed the mark, and one hit the nearby Mor Yosef.

Police have taken pride in recent successes that have put leaders of major underworld organizations behind bars, but a senior police source said this isn't enough to stem the tide of crime in Israel's cities.

"Even when all the national underworld leaders are behind bars, there will still be disputes over drugs or property and criminals will still shoot each other," senior Central District officer Avi Neuman said. "Of course we work against crime every day, but we can't be everywhere all the time."

Another senior police source said "even if we got another 5,000 officers, it's impossible to entirely prevent such instances."

The police yesterday issued a gag order on publishing details of the investigation or findings at the crime scene.