T.A. Court Acquits Two Suspects in Attempted Gangland Hit

Indictment came after a shoot-out between cops and mobsters allegedly sent to carry out hit on mob boss.

A Tel Aviv Regional Court on Sunday acquitted two suspects in attempted murder of reputed underworld figure Nissim Alperon.

Amir Senkar and Eitan Garalah were however, convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime.

The original indictment against the two was filed in May 2007, alleging that the two attempted to carry out a hit on Alperon, as part of an ongoing feud between Alperon and the Abergil crime family over the control of the bottle-recycling racket in the Tel Aviv area.

The indictment came following an incident linked to the Abergil-Alperon feud where detectives trailing a car with three members of the Abergil crime family were led to the neighborhood of Nissim Alperon. The detectives, suspecting that Abergil gang members were planning to attack Alperon, blocked the path of their car. In response, one of those in the car emerged, shooting at the officers, injuring one of them. The officers returned fire and killed the gunman, Avishai Balkar, and arrested the other two in the car.

Now, according to police intelligence, hired guns have been brought in from abroad to target Abergil. This is not the first time contract killers have been brought to Israel: In late 2003, four citizens of Belarus were arrested on suspicion of planning to assassinate Nissim and Yaakov Alperon, as well as Shoni Gavrieli.