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While police have struggled to cope with the growing problem of human trafficking through Israel, human traffickers have begun to ship Israeli women to foreign countries, said MK Zehava Gal-On Tuesday. Gal-On also said that the country is unprepared for this new trend.
"There has long been an active ring of people using Israel as a stopping point in the trafficking of women from foreign countries to other foreign countriesâ€¦ what we are seeing now is Israeli women themselves being targeted and shipped to other places," Gal-On said.
According to the Meretz MK, police have not yet acknowledged the growing trend, and are therefore unequipped to deal with it. Most of these women were shipped to England, Croatia, Singapore and Thailand, according to a report presented by the Knesset Committee on Human Trafficking.
Human traffickers make upwards of $50-80,000 each year, from the smuggling of Israeli women, said a representative from the Hotline for Migrant Workers.
"There are very clear, specific cases of Israeli women being used in human trafficking," said the representative. "There are other cases, of a girl whose father takes her places and forces her to give sexual favors for pay, which are less clear. But, you cannot tell me that this is not human trafficking." Adi Willinger, a representative from the Hotline for Migrant Workers told the Jerusalem Post that in the last six months, her organization has documented nine cases involving the trafficking of Israeli woman to countries abroad.
Willinger said that her organization delivered their information to the police, but that only one of the nine cases was investigated. "We need to ask why this is not being taken more seriously, why this is not being dealt with before it becomes bigger," she said.
Police representatives acknowledged that they had been notified of "a number" of cases, but said that they could not discuss what they had chosen to investigate.