Tourism Ministry to create plan to prevent rape, increase safety at hotels

The ministry will also publish an annual list of hotels that have met the program's standards.

Israelis take part in a demonstration in support of the 16-year-old victim of a gang rape in Eilat, Tel Aviv. August 22, 2020 (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Israelis take part in a demonstration in support of the 16-year-old victim of a gang rape in Eilat, Tel Aviv. August 22, 2020
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Israel's Tourism Ministry has established a team in order to create a plan that will seek to prevent sexual assaults and rape, and enhance personal safety at hotels around the country, according to a press release.
The move to create a plan came following the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by several men at a hotel in Eilat, which has since spurred nationwide protests against sexual violence in Israel. Numerous suspects have since been arrested for the horrific act.
Tourism Minister MK Asaf Zamir convened a meeting on Monday with a team of professionals to create an operative plan aimed at increasing the personal safety of guests at hotels, which includes members of multiple associations in Israel, such as the Hotels Association, The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel and The Israel Women's Network.
The participating associations are aiming to create a comprehensive plan for safe spaces at hotels, resulting in guidelines that will include tools, increased awareness, an inspection process on safety and training activities and coaching for security personnel.
The Tourism Ministry will also publish an annual list of hotels that have met the program's standards.
"We must ensure that cases such as the rape that took place in the city of Eilat are not repeated, and that the hotel space remains safe for the benefit of all vacationers," said Zamir.
"The Ministry of Tourism will work with all means to prevent violence and sexual abuse during stays in hotels," Zamir added.
The president of the Hotels Association also weighed-in on the announcement, saying "Israeli hotel managers are always committed to securing the personal space of hotel guests. Any program that provides more tools and knowledge is welcome, and we will be a part of it."
Orit Sulitzeanu, who heads The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, welcomed the announcement as well.
"We welcome the decision of the Tourism Ministry to initiate and promote protection in hotels. A hotel is a place of entertainment, but can also be an unsafe and dangerous place which requires that all its employees know how to take care of the safety of those who come through its gates. We hope that all hotels in the country will adopt this plan in a serious and responsible manner," Sulitzeanu said.
The Israel Women's Network also welcomed the announcement of the program, comparing it to the necessity of installing emergency exit signs in places of entertainment.