Police on Saturday night classified an explosion in south Tel Aviv as “criminally motivated,” but as far as Israel Police Commander Yochanan Danino is concerned, it was a “terror attack.”
Speaking Sunday at a police gathering in Akko, Yochanan Danino said that “no matter what their source, these kinds of incidents are vary serious. As far as I am concerned, an explosion on a street in a big city is a serious incident, as serious as a terror incident.”
One person was killed Saturday night in the Kfar Shalem neighborhood of Tel Aviv. The explosive device was attached to a vehicle, which exploded when the individual who owned it opened its door. The individual, who has not been identified yet, was said by police to have criminal ties.
It was the third explosion in the Tel Aviv area in a week. Last Thursday, an Akko man was arrested for placing a bomb under a car in a Nahariya shopping center. The indended victim was a business rival of the perpetrator, police said. Another car bomb exploded in Kfar Yam on Thursday, in a case also linked to a business dispute, police said. And last Monday, two men in Petah Tikvah were killed when the explosive device they were planting on a vehicle exploded prematurely, police said.
Criminals, and terrorists, can easily access bombs, said Danino. “It is very hard to control the supply of explosives,” the Police Chief admitted.
In recent months, he said, criminals have come to realize that it is easier to acquire and set a bomb than to engage in a shooting attack.
“Most of the explosives in the country are sourced in the IDF,” with soldiers bringing home “souveneirs” that end up on the street, said Danino. “We of course work very closely with the army, and we are seeking ways to ensure that these explosives are seized. This has been going on for a long time, but it has been getting worse in recent years.”
With that, Danino said, police had had many successes. “There have been many times that we have averted explosions that you do not hear about,” he said. “We will keep working to prevent such incidents, giving prevention the highest priority.”