Seven teenage boys were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a 13-yearold girl over recent months.

Tel Aviv police said that the seven suspects, aged 13 to 17, met the girl in different locations outside of school, with certain suspects bringing friends who also took part in the alleged assaults.

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The investigation began two weeks ago, police said, but the arrests were only made on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the suspects are expected to be brought to the Tel Aviv juvenile court for a remand extension. Police have secured a sweeping gag order on the case, banning the publication of any details related to the investigation.

In a similar case in December, police arrested five teenage boys suspected of sexually- assaulting a 12-year-old girl. That investigation was launched after police received a video that the youths filmed and circulated of the alleged abuse.

Yitzhak Kadman, executive director of the National Council for the Child said: “The sexual assault of minors by minors is a deeply alarming phenomenon. In recent years there is not only an increase in the scope of the phenomenon, but a change in the nature of its severity.

“This is reflected by the decline in the ages of the sexual offenders, in the severity of the offenses (not only indecent assault or sexual harassment, but also rape and gang rape) and a lack of insight that these are improper actions.”
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