(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) In a precedent-setting decision, the Israeli Defense Ministry has recognized a young Jewish woman who was sexually assaulted by four Arab teenagers in 2006 as a terror victim, making her eligible for financial assistance and benefits afforded by the state to those injured in terrorist attacks.
The woman was 14 years old when she was attacked and sexually assaulted in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem by four Arab teens, all minors at the time, who followed her on their bicycles, touching her and pulling on her shirt while she walked toward a bus stop. When she was alone, they blocked her path, beat her and shoved her to the ground, where they assaulted her. She managed to escape after the attack and helped police catch the assailants.
“I feel a sense of relief and that the country is embracing me by recognizing that what happened to me was a terrorist attack,” the woman said after the decision was made, adding that she was attacked only because she is an Israeli Jew.
Her attorney, Roni Aloni-Sedovnik, said, “The Defense Ministry’s decision is significant because it essentially recognizes and accepts the international law that is based on a United Nations Security Council resolution from 2009 that determined that sexual assault carried out by a member of one nationality against that of another during a conflict between both groups constitutes a war crime.”
The Defense Ministry explained that the country’s Compensation Law defines a terrorist attack as “a violent attack with the intent to cause harm to a person based on their national or ethnic origin, particularly as it relates to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” The law indicates that a victim will be recognized as eligible for state assistance if there is reason to believe they were hurt in a terrorist attack.