Car Bomb Targets Business Partner of Ashdod Port Union Boss

Police safely defuse bomb; the target, an Ashdod businessman, has close ties to union’s Alon Hassan.

A business partner of Ashdod Port’s powerful union boss Alon Hassan discovered Monday that his car had been wired with explosives.

Police sappers safely defused the bomb after a neighbor spotted it as he was walking by the car of Hassan’s business partner, Yaniv Balter.

Police are investigating the incident. One possibility being investigated is that the explosives were planted as part of a business dispute.

Balter is an Ashdod businessman with close ties to Hassan. The two are among several owners of a local restaurant, and Balter owns the seaport logistics company Dana Port, whose CEO is Alon Hassan’s cousin, David Hassan.

Even though neither Balter nor David Hassan had any previous experience with ports, Dana Port has expanded its business at Ashdod Port at a dizzying pace since it was founded in 2010. Today, it has its own private pier, where it provides services to Shemen Oil and Gas Resources, a firm drilling off the Ashdod coast. It also provides consulting and logistics services to many of the port’s other customers, giving it a turnover of millions of shekels a year.

Though Alon Hassan has barred most outside workers from the port unless they paid the regular dockworkers a fee, that ban never applied to Dana Port.

As Haaretz has previously reported, over the last two years Balter and David Hassan have approached several companies that ran into trouble at the port and offered to solve their problems if they hired Dana Port. Many companies, some of them major exporters, acceded.

One, ICL Fertilizers, complained to the port about the unaccountable damage it suffered after initially refusing to employ Dana Port, though it never said explicitly who it thought was behind the damage.

Four years ago, someone threw a grenade at Alon Hassan’s home. Police never identified the culprit.

Ilan Assayag