November 17, 2008
Organized-crime leader Yaakov Alperon, 53, a suspected murderer who has survived as many as three assassination attempts, is driving home from a court hearing for two of his sons in Tel Aviv when he is killed by a remote-controlled bomb in his car. He is survived by wife Ahuva and three children, Omer, Kim and Dror.
He joins a list of slain Israeli criminal kingpins that includes Felix Abutbul, Yaakov Abergil, Yehezkel Aslan and Gad Plum.
Known in Israeli media as “Don Alperon,” he led a crime family largely composed of Mizrahi Jews who grew up poor. Alperon himself came from a modest upbringing. Born in 1955, he was one of 12 children in an Egyptian immigrant family who lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Givat Shmuel, a small town near Tel Aviv.
One of his brothers has survived seven assassination attempts. Another lost a leg in a car bombing.
As a child, Alperon took up boxing, which came into use as he got older and began fighting in the streets. He served time in prison. Police suspected but could not prove that he killed members of other crime families.
Tel Aviv is said to be Israel’s center of organized crime, largely focused on drugs, extortion and gambling.