Tel Aviv police on Saturday night arrested a 23-year-old man they suspect brutally beat a Filipina foreign worker before raping her in a parking lot on Wolfson Street in south Tel Aviv on March 23.
Police said the man, apparently a migrant from Sudan, beat the woman so severely he broke several of her teeth and left bruises across her face, before he dragged her into the parking lot just next to the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station and raped her. Police said the suspect was registered as living in Gedera, but was arrested near the central bus station on Saturday night and was brought for a remand extension on Sunday.
News of the rape and the subsequent arrest was greeted with fear by Ilana, a Russian-Israeli woman living in a small house next door to the parking lot where the rape took place.
Ilana pointed a finger at a bar across the street frequented by Eritrean migrants, which she said is full every night with young men getting dead drunk and stumbling out into the nearby streets fighting and looking for trouble. She said she no longer felt safe in the neighborhood, and avoids leaving her home after dark.
In front of her house, a Filipina woman named Sol stood outside of a daycare center she runs, and said she too feels unsafe after the sun goes down on Wolfson Street. Sol said she has lived in Israel for 12 years, and until a few years ago, she never felt unsafe. Like Ilana, she blamed the influx of mostly male African migrants to the neighborhood for her loss of personal security.
She added that the victim is a friend of hers who lives two doors down on Wolfson, and that she was returning home from her caretaking job when she was attacked. When asked how her friend is coping, she said that she had already returned to the job and that “she’s a strong woman, she’ll be okay.”
Police said on Sunday that DNA taken at the scene helped lead them to the suspect, just as it also helped police find an Eritrean man accused of raping an elderly woman in south Tel Aviv in December. After news of that assault was made public, residents of south Tel Aviv neighborhoods took part in an anti-African migrants protest, just as they did last month after news that a Sudanese man had raped an eight-year-old girl in her bed at her house in Yad Eliyahu in south Tel Aviv.