Special Police Forces to Tackle Netanya Gangland Slaying

Police transferred the investigation of Monday's murder of organized crime figure Nati Ohayan in Netanya.

Police Commissioner David Cohen on Tuesday night transferred the investigation of Monday's murder of organized crime figure Nati Ohayan in Netanya to unit Lahav 433, which investigates organized crime throughout Israel. Officers in the Sharon District and in the Central Region, however, believe that Ohayan's death was connected to a specific conflict and not his association with the organization headed by his brothers-in-law Francois and Assi Abutbul.

"We are talking about a man who was very violent, a thug who never stopped arguing with everyone he met," a senior Central District source told Haaretz on Tuesday. "Our central assumption in the investigation is that someone decided to take revenge, perhaps over a relatively 'small' disagreement that ballooned, with the murder, to monstrous dimensions."

Police officers remarked on the daring demonstrated by the assassins in entering a quiet residential neighborhood, killing Ohayan and inflicting superficial bullet wounds to his friend, Rami Maimon. They also, however, noted a certain lack of professionalism that was reflected in the large number of bullets fired by the killers as well as in their weapon of choice.

The police did not rule out the possibility yesterday that those who ordered the hit did so to hurt Francois and his troubled crime family by killing his brother-in-law. The Abutbul organization is plagued with financial difficulties and by splits in the wake of the extended remand of Assi Abutbul and senior figures who are facing trial for running a criminal organization and on numerous counts of extortion.

An autopsy will be performed on Ohayan's body, after a judge overruled the family's objection to a post-mortem.