Explosive Device Found in Central Tel Aviv Grocery

Israeli Police suspect incident at Tiv Taaam on Ibn Gabirol, near Rabin Square, to be criminally, not politically, motivated.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

An explosive device was found at a grocery store in the heart of Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon. The police suspect however that the bomb was placed there for criminal, not nationalistic, motivates.

At around 5 P.M., employees at the Ibn Gvirol branch of Tiv Ta'am, which is located near Rabin Square, discovered a suspicious object at the back of the store.

There have recently been a number of arson attempts on the branch, and, as such, employees there were requested to be alert to any suspect items.

Immediately after the suspect object was discovered, the employees reported it to the police, who closed off the streets surrounding the branch.

The Israel Police bomb squad discovered that the suspect object was in fact an explosive device, and worked for some two hours to remove the device and neutralize it.

Tel Aviv police consider the device to be a direct continuation of recent events at the branch, which are under investigation. But from their perspective, since the incident involved an explosive device and occurred in a residential neighborhood, it is more significant than previous events there.

This morning at 3 A.M. police, firefighters and Magen David Adom ambulances were alerted to the Ibn Gvirol branch of Tiv Ta'am, after neighbors heard a large explosion and saw smoke rising from within the store. One person sustained burns and was rushed to Ichilov Hospital. During the morning fire experts and police investigated the cause of the fire and soon enough concluded it was arson, the third attempt in as many years.

The investigators discovered a huge fuel container in the back of the building attached to a hose, which was probably was used by the perpetrators to insert flammable gas into the branch through the ventilation windows. A special crew was established at Hayarkon Police to investigate the affair. The first attempt to burn down the branch was in May 2010, followed by another attempt in April 2011.

The crew is examining several motives including disgruntled neighbors, religious zealots angry at the sale of non-kosher meat or commercial competitors.

Police cordon off the Ibn Gvirol branch of Tiv Ta'am in Tel Aviv, to remove and neutralize a suspicious object, March 24, 2013.Credit: Haaretz

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