The Israel Police have arrested seven men suspected of gang-raping a minor in Netanya while she was intoxicated, the police said Sunday.
Police opened an investigation last week after receiving a report that a 13-year-old had been raped in Netanya’s Galil Hotel.
The investigation revealed that the lead suspect is a 24-year-old man who is thought to have met the victim through social media. When the two met, the suspect allegedly got the girl drunk and high on drugs before forcing her to repeatedly have sex with him and his friends.
On Sunday, police arrested the seventh suspect, a 50-year-old resident of Jisr e-Zarka, an Arab-Israeli town north of Caesarea.
The girl had met the suspect with a friend, who later left without the victim, Ynet reported. The girl told her friend about the rape, who then told her mother, the report said.
Further arrests are expected
The suspects were arrested over the weekend, and more arrests were expected in the near future, the police said.
“The severity stems from the fact that we’re talking about the cruel rape of a girl younger than 14 that was perpetrated by men aged 20 to 25,” Israel Police Investigations and Intelligence Department Cmdr. Arik Resnik said.
The Netanya Municipality said in a statement: “Immediately upon receiving the report, Welfare Administration officials went out to meet her and help her file a complaint at Beit Lin [a protection center for minors], as well as helping her mediate the difficult incident with her parents and ongoing support at the required medical tests.
“The social workers will continue to provide therapeutic support to the girl and her parents with the professionalism and sensitivity required under the difficult circumstances of the event.”
המשטרה עצרה אדם נוסף בחשד למעורבות באונס הקטינה בת ה-13 בנתניה. עד כה נעצרו 7 חשודים במסגרת החקירה. במקביל, פורסם תיעוד מעצרו של החשוד המרכזי בפרשה בכיכר העצמאות בנתניה. כל העדכונים מהפרשה >>> https://t.co/Teqo4Df3v8(אורלי אלקלעי) pic.twitter.com/Fd1ayTmr51— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 2, 2023
Women’s Lobby chairwoman Hadas Danieli Yalin said: “We are shocked by the difficult news this morning. Only last week, we were exposed to the difficult testimony of the gang-rape victim from Eilat – a cruel rape that left behind severe trauma and years of recovery. And this morning, we woke up to another horrific story. A gang rape was experienced by a 13-year-old and perpetrated by [several] men. Another girl will carry the trauma her entire life. Another life was destroyed in a single moment.
"Another girl will carry the trauma her entire life."Hadas Danieli Yalin
“Unfortunately, these moments make clear to us how much the nation does not do enough for the security of women – from the education system, which basically ignores the subject, to the legal system, which makes the lives of victims miserable and hands out light punishments to rapists,” Yalin said.