Attack on Importer's Home Ups TA Image as 'Grenade City'

Motive for 3rd device lobbed in a month unclear

Tel Aviv police are investigating the tossing of a fragmentation grenade Sunday night at the Romano Street home in north Tel Aviv of an importer of luxury cars. Heavy damage was caused to the yard, but no one was injured.

Police are investigating whether the attack may have stemmed from a dispute between the importer and a customer or was an attempt at extortion.

This is the third fragmentation grenade incident in Tel Aviv within a month. The Romano Street attack occurred hours after a grenade that had apparently been attached to the car of a Tel Aviv nightclub owner, Ziv Shaya, exploded as he got in the car parked outside his north Tel Aviv apartment.

The incident was thought intended as a warning rather than a murder attempt.

Shaya, who was injured by grenade fragments, said that when he started the engine, he heard a small explosion, followed by a large one.

"The airbags inflated," he said, "and I opened the door and rolled out of the car, and then I saw the whole car go up in flames.

"I have no idea who did this. I have no connection with the gray market or protection rackets."

The police are investigating several possibilities, including the possibility the incident stems from a romantic relationship between Shaya and a customer at one of his nightclubs.

A month ago, a fragmentation grenade was thrown at a restaurant on Salameh Street in Tel Aviv, whereas stun grenades were lobbed at the Koya nightclub, located in the city's Yad Harutzim area, each of the last two weekends.

Last week, a stun grenade was also thrown at a stand selling roasted nuts on Hashalom Road.

A Tel Aviv police source indicated yesterday there was no evidence to indicate that these incidents were linked.