Last night two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the car in which mob boss Francois Abutbul and his bodyguard were driving after it pulled into a gas station in Netanya, Israel north of Tel Aviv as reported by Yaakov Lappin for The Jerusalem Post. Abutbul died as he was rushed to a hospital, and his bodyguard suffered minor injuries. Although police set up roadblocks within minutes the two gunmen had already fled and remain at large.
Abutbul was released from prison last December after serving two and a half years for assaulting his wife; however, not everyone welcomed his return to the streets as then reported by The Jerusalem Post: he "received a message from people in the underworld demanding that he leave the country of his life will be at risk, said police." Last summer three of his restaurants were torched "in what could be the opening salvo in renewed battles between crime organizations in the city" as then reported by Yaniv Kubovich for Haaretz.
Earlier this year reputed gangster Rico Shirazi was arrested on suspicion of planning to whack Abutbul although he was later released for lack of evidence.
Francois became head of the Abutbul crime family after his brother Asi was sentenced to thirteen years in 2009 on a conviction under the Fight Against Organized Crime Law involving several counts of extortion, arson, unlawful imprisonment and financial crimes. Their father Felix was murdered by a rival gangster in 2002, and their uncle Charlie was targeted in unsuccessful 2008 and 2010 assassination attempts.