A burglar stabbed a woman in the thigh and sexually assaulted her eightyear- old
daughter after breaking into their house in south Tel Aviv early Wednesday
morning, before he was fought off and badly beaten by the woman’s
Tel Aviv District Police said the man, a 22-year-old native of
Sudan, was hospitalized in serious condition after he was beaten by the husband,
but was released from the hospital several hours later without any serious
injuries. The husband, a martial arts enthusiast, was questioned by police after
the incident, but was released without charge, police said.
reporters outside his Yad Eliyahu home on Wednesday, the father said “I awoke to
screams and saw my wife attacked and bleeding and an attacker who I don’t know.
I jumped on him and I began to struggle with him to neutralize him and then I
tied him up and called for help.”
Several hours after the incident, the
burglar was taken by police to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court for a remand
extension, where they sought to arraign him on charges of rape, assault and
battery, breaking and entering, and theft.
Police also said they would
work to secure a gag order banning publication of the man’s identity or picture,
saying that they are checking if he is linked with any other unsolved crimes in
the district. As of press time, Tel Aviv police said the man is not cooperating
with investigators, and for the most part does not understand what they are
Police said the Sudanese man has been in Israel since 2011
and is homeless and out of work. They added that they will ask the court to keep
him jailed until the end of the legal proceedings against him.
said that at the moment it appears the man did not have the knife on him when he
entered the apartment, rather that he took it from within the house.
mother and daughter were hospitalized at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, where
they remained by late Thursday afternoon.
The Yad Eliyahu neighborhood is
one of a number of areas of south Tel Aviv that have seen an influx of tens of
thousands of African migrants in recent years. In the past, highly publicized
acts of violence by African migrants have been met with protests by residents,
as well as physical attacks and acts of vandalism.
On Wednesday morning,
a Tel Aviv police spokeswoman put out an announcement to Israeli journalists
asking them to exercise responsibility in their reporting of the
By late afternoon, residents of south Tel Aviv announced plans
to hold a demonstration at 7 p.m. in the Hatikva neighborhood.
Mayor Ron Huldai commented on the incident on Wednesday, saying that “the
incident that happened in south Tel Aviv is shocking and is something that we
have warned about many times.”
“The burden of the infiltrators has fallen
on the residents of south Tel Aviv – they are the ones who suffer and their
distress is understandable. They are forced to carry the absorption of large
numbers of migrants alone. We must return the feeling of security to the
residents of south Tel Aviv,” Huldai added.
On Wednesday afternoon, Talia
Mizrahi, a mother of two who lives next door to the single-family house where
the break-in happened on a quiet, oneblock side street, said, “We had robberies
in the past, but nothing like what we are dealing with today. These are people
with nothing to lose, it’s scary to be here now.”
On Wednesday night, a
little over a hundred protesters marched around the Hatikva and Yad Eliyahu
neighborhoods, calling on the government to deport all of the “infiltrators,” as
well as “the lefties.”
Most of the chants at the protest seemed to be
directed at left-wing activists, as well as quite a few that targeted Huldai,
calling on him to “go home.”
The majority of the protesters appeared to
be teenagers, many of whom made chimpanzee noises and shouted curses at African
migrants walking by. On one occasion, a few protesters tried to storm an
African-owned business, but were blocked by police, who then escorted the owners
out of the premises, as they closed the shutters.
No other violence was
reported by press time.
In late February, the Tel Aviv District Police
released figures indicating a sharp rise in crime among the African migrant
population in the district, home to the majority of the more than 60,000
Police figures said that there was a 53.2 percent increase in
the number of Sudanese and Eritreans suspected in crimes and a 45% increase in
the opening of criminal cases against them in 2012. The figures also stated that
there were 1,048 Sudanese and Eritreans named as suspects in crimes in 2012, as
opposed to 684 in 2011, and 1,092 criminal cases opened against them in 2012 as
opposed to 2011.
MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), the head of a newly
founded “anti-infiltrators” Knesset caucus meant to find ways to jail or deport
African migrants, seized on Wednesday’s attack, saying “the legal system’s
attempts to delay the solution to the infiltrators only worsens the problem and
leads to difficult incidents like what happened tonight.”
She added that
Israel must find a third county to take the African migrant population, or
deport them all to their home countries, Eritrea and Sudan, where they would be
in danger of facing persecution upon return.
On Tuesday, the High Court
of Justice ruled that the government must explain by April 30 why the so-called
Infiltrators Law must remain in effect, following a petition to the court by a
group of Israeli NGOs. The law allows Israel to jail people caught crossing the
border illegally for three years or more.