Scene of shooting (illustrative)
Scene of shooting (illustrative) Flash 90

Police are questioning four men in connection to a murder Saturday in Tel Aviv, Walla! news reports.

They are hoping to shed light on the execution-style slaying of Taher Lalah, who was shot in his car in broad daylight on a busy street in Tel Aviv.

Lalah, 29, of Yafo, was known to have ties to criminal activity, and the murder is believed to have been a criminal assassination.

The murder caused renewed criticism of police for failing to stop criminal violence in Yafo.

Witnesses reported that many people saw Saturday’s shooting, among them young children who were in the area with their parents. “It’s very sad to think that the bullets could easily have hit an innocent person,” one bystander told Walla!

She noted the similarity to an attempted assassination in 2008 which killed innocent bystander Margarita Lautin. Lautin, 31, was shot and died in her husband’s arms in front of her two young children after would-be assassins targeted a mobster at a Bat Yam beach.  

Witnesses reported seeing Lalah's relatives at the scene after the murder; several burst into screams of grief upon seeing his car riddled with bullet holes. Police prevented family members from approaching the body.

Several recent murders have been linked to organized crime. At least one of the slayings caused injury to innocent bystanders, among them a young girl.

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino has declared that police are doing everything they can to crack down on organized crime. Minister for Internal Security Yitzchak Aharonovich recently sought to go further by allowing police to use controversial administrative orders, which would allow them to detain suspects without filing criminal charges; his request was reportedly rejected by the Attorney General.