Israeli Mafia Boss Sentenced to Three Life Sentences for Botched Assassination

Yitzhak Abergil, the head of one of Israel's most notorious crime syndicates, is charged for the killing of three bystanders in a 'cruel and reckless' assassination attempt on a foe

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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Yitzhak Abergil at the Tel Avid District Court, on Tuesday.
Yitzhak Abergil at the Tel Avid District Court, on Tuesday.Credit: Moti Milrod
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

An Israeli court sentenced crime kingpin Yizhak Abergil on Tuesday to three life sentences plus 30 years for the 2003 killing of three bystanders in an attempt on the life of Ze'ev Rosenstein, a rival figure in the mob underworld.

The Tel Aviv District Court also found Abergil guilty of heading a crime organization and convicted seven of his underlings on other counts. Avi Ruhan, Abergil's right-hand man, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted murder and running and funding a criminal organization.

The case, dubbed Case 512, is expected to change the face of organized crime in Israel. It has already dealt a severe blow to two major criminal organizations, one of which is led by Abergil, and is responsible to completely wiping out a third, the Abutbul gang.

"It was a cruel and reckless plan that is no different from the terror attacks that occurred at the time," Tel Aviv District Court Judge Gilia Ravid said regarding the killing in her verdict.

Judges Yaron Levy, Gilia Ravid and Shai Yaniv at the Tel Avid District Court on Tuesday.Credit: Moti Milrod

She said that Abergil was "the initiator, the interested party and the one who dictated the war on Rosenstein," and added that he "never took responsibility at any stage. Even after the verdict, he claimed his trial wasn't just."

Before the verdict, Abergil told reporters at the court that all Israeli institutions are tainted with lies and claimed that the nurses and teachers' strike should be rewarded in their fight against the corrupted system.

Case 512 deals with the struggle between Abergil's organization and Rosenstein's organization, and the main charges in it relate to the two attempted assassinations of Rosenstein, in one of which the three civilians were killed.

According to the indictment in the case, in the years 2002-2006, Abergil headed a criminal organization in Israel and abroad. The indictment was filed in July 2015 against 18 defendants, including Abergil, Ruhan and other members of criminal organizations.

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