(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli police have arrested two Palestinian residents of the West Bank, ages 17 and 42, in connection with the rape of a 20-year-old Jewish woman with a mental disability in Jaffa earlier this month.
Tel Aviv District Police commanders instructed police officers not to divulge any details from the incident, which occurred on Israeli Independence Day two weeks ago, possibly in efforts to prevent Jewish-Arab tensions. The victim filed a complaint saying she had been raped by three Palestinians at a Jaffa motel. The woman said her assailants had made racist remarks and humiliated her, and one had filmed the rape on his phone with the express intention of distributing the footage.
The elder suspect is believed to have documented the attack, while the younger one and the third assailant allegedly committed the rape. The identity of the third assailant is unknown and he is still at large. The two suspects now in custody are being investigated on charges of gang rape, sodomy, abuse of a person with a disability, and race-motivated crimes. They have denied any wrongdoing.
In the video documenting the attack, the suspects are seen yelling at the victim during the rape. “You are a Jew, this is what you deserve,” one is heard saying.
Attorney Ofir Katabi, who represents the older suspect, argued in court that the police had been unable to present sufficient evidence to charge his client and demanded that the man be released. Attorney Nir Alfasa, who represents the younger suspect, said, “He is a minor with no criminal record and with extenuating life circumstances. He denies all the allegations against him. He claims that his neighbors conspired to make false accusations against him in order to remove him from the housing compound where he lives, because of his nationality.”