(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Two Palestinian men are in custody for allegedly raping and urinating on a mentally disabled woman in south Tel Aviv, in what police say was a nationalistically motivated crime.
The incident took place on Independence Day earlier this month, at the 20-yearold victim’s aunt’s apartment.
During the act, Imad Aladin Dragame, 42, allegedly filmed the rape, which police say was carried out by two other Palestinians – including a minor – who urinated and spit on the woman while shouting anti-Semitic slurs at her and threatening to murder her aunt and brother if she complained.
The third suspect in the case remains at large, while the minor and Dragame were on Wednesday remanded for an additional five days. For Dragame, a resident of Nablus with a legal permit to work inside Israel, it was the third remand hearing since he was arrested on May 16, following a complaint by the victim’s aunt. He also faces drug charges after police found 11.5 grams of marijuana in his apartment, which is in the same building as the victim’s aunt.
The suspect’s attorney, Ofir Katabi, asked police in court on Wednesday why, after more than eight days since his client’s arrest, police had yet to produce the video he allegedly shot of the assault, even though they have had possession of his phone since then.
In previous hearings, Katabi appeared to attempt to cast doubt on the testimony of the alleged victim and her aunt.
During the first remand hearing on May 17, Katabi said his client “is a married father in Israel with a legal work permit,” and accused the alleged victim of being “a serial complainer who has issued false complaints in the past.”
He also said his client and the woman’s aunt – who made the police complaint – had a number of disagreements in the past and that the victim herself had been questioned a week earlier at the Dizengoff police station for attacking her aunt’s boyfriend with a bottle. Katabi continued this line of defense during the second hearing on May 22, during which he said that a few days before she submitted the rape complaint, the aunt was questioned by police on suspicion of stabbing her boyfriend, a drug addict.
During that same hearing, Sgt.-Maj. Yisrael Sianov, the officer representing the police, minced no words about the grave nature of the case, saying “this was an incident of the utmost severity – the rape and exploitation of a helpless girl with mental disabilities, while they degraded and humiliated her, and urinated on the victim while yelling racial slurs at her.
“In addition, they threatened her not to tell anyone, saying they would rape her aunt and murder her brother.
This is a shocking incident.”
Last March, the Defense Ministry recognized the victim of a 2012 rape in Tel Aviv as a terrorism victim, due to the nationalist nature of the attack.
The rape of the Israeli girl and her boyfriend was carried out at knife-point in a bathroom at the parking lot of Tel Aviv’s Gan Ha’ir complex, during which the attacker, Nablus native Ahmed Jaber, beat and assaulted both victims for over an hour. During his interrogation, police said he told investigators that Jews are “foreign residents” and “not sons of the land” and said Jewish girls “who wander the streets” lack respect.
The state concluded that the attack was carried out to harm Jews and as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and not as a purely criminal sex crime.