Gang violence has become common in Israel, but it should not be confused with the kind of gang violence most people have knowledge of.
The tactics employed by Isreali gangs, and their aim are quite different than the usual drug / turf disputes common with such groups, have upended the usual way in which crime in tackled in Isreal.
Although the gangs are often part of crime families, and their feuds spill onto the streets mafia style, their activities are seen in Israel as a direct threat to national security.
The crime families have even gone so far as to brazenly attempt to blow up a prosecutor who was going after them, thankfully without success.
The Israeli public security minister, Yitzah Aharonovitch, has called for the same type of contrast to the criminal activities usually reserved for enemies of the state, like Hezbollah.
He has soon made good on his promise too, with the arrest of many of the prominent syndicate members. Their businesses, furthermore, were razed to the ground with bulldozers.
One of the facts that is prompting such a stern response, is the fact that the principal gang family, the Domrani mobsters, are trying successfully to infiltrate the upper echelons of the Isreali government. They are threatening local offices in order to change the outcome of local elections.
However, the Domrani's family patriarch, and the leading arrestee, was released on bail not long after he was carted in front of the judge for his arraignment, highlighting how even if military style tactics are employed, the agents of chaos must be treated constitutionally with the ability to avail themselves of legal recourse.
The city at the center of this arrest activity is the ancient city of Ashkelon, now a backwater city full of impoverished neighborhoods, where crime is rampant.
So in many ways, this type of gang activity is not new, but what is new is the way the turf wars are being waged.
Bombings are now a common way to dispose of an enemy as far as the syndicates in the town see it. In a place where people are on edge about possible terrorist activity, such tactics have finally touched a nerve.
For many people, who have witnessed the escalation in violence and the explosive nature of eliminations, the fear of further violence has shaken them to the core. Because when bombs go off in Israel, people always think of the worst.
The criminals therefore, have gone where the authorities think no one should go. And they are vowing to bring the crime syndicate to its knees.
Source : The Guardian./ 11.21.13