Jaffa gang suspected of plotting to kill sheikh, blame rightists for crime

Attorney Gur Finkelstein, who represents the Scientology Center in Israel, was detained several weeks for allegedly hiring this gang to help him with his own criminal endeavors.

Haaretz, Israel/May 17, 2011

Israel Police forces have uncovered a Jaffa-based gang allegedly behind a series of attacks and attempted assassinations in the Tel Aviv area, including a plot to kill a senior sheikh of a local mosque, it was revealed after a gag order was lifted on Tuesday .

Those mobsters are suspected of plotting to plant a an explosive advice at the Hassan Bek Mosque in Jaffa after Friday prayers, to kill a senior sheikh.

According to details of the case, the suspects planned to pin the assassination on right-wing activists by spraying the word 'price tag' nearby, in reference to the style of revenge taken by extremist settlers over the government's policy in the West Bank.

Attorney Gur Finkelstein, who represents the Scientology Center in Israel, was detained several weeks ago for allegedly hiring this gang to supply him with weapons and assist him in his own endeavors.

He emerged as a suspect in a series of crimes after police uncovered the Jaffa gang, though he was not linked to plans to kill the sheikh.

A string of high-profile crimes have been attributed to Finkelstein, include attempts to burn down the Scientology Center, and also the assault and plot to assassinate the director of Tel Aviv's planning and construction department, Shoteh Hovel.

Police believe that Finkelstein hired the Jaffa gang to help him burn down the center so that he could benefit from future construction. The gang is also suspected of attempting to kill Finkelstein's ex-wife's lover on his behalf.

Police treated the bomb planted in Hovel's car as an attempted hit, but had not yet revealed leads on the alleged perpetrator. Hovel was arrested in 2009 on a series of corruption charges, including bribery, breach of trust, money laundering and tax fraud. He was dismissed from his position during the investigation, and returned after the charges were dropped a year later.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.