Arab worker arrested on suspicion of raping pregnant Jerusalem woman

Police track down suspect who allegedly raped the woman when she brought him to her residence to help move furniture.

By World Israel News Staff

Jerusalem police arrested a 27-year-old Arab resident of the city on suspicion he raped a pregnant Jewish woman, Ynet reported Monday.

According to police, the two met in a local supermarket where the woman asked the man to help her move a couch at her home.

The attack took place on February 24 when the young man arrived at her home and took the opportunity to sexually attack her, the report said, adding that the victim asked the suspect to leave her home, but he begged her to meet again and later phoned her in an attempt to set a date.

The woman filed a complaint with the police on the same day as the assault, but although the arrest warrant against him was issued the next day the suspect was only located and arrested on March 5.

The police were given recordings made by the woman in which the suspect was heard offering to paint her home – and threatening her, with a judge in the Jerusalem court agreeing to extend the suspect’s detention by three days. Police are awaiting the results of laboratory tests on items they seized related to the case.

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Although the suspect has previously been convicted of property offenses and violence, attorney Osama Halabi, who was appointed by the Public Defender’s Office to defend the man, claimed he had no criminal record.

“He is cooperating with investigators, giving a full version and denying any suspicions,” the lawyer said, adding that he was waiting for the police to check the versions of the incident and complete their investigation.

A surge in violence against women in Israel over the past year brought out 12,000 people to a protest in Tel Aviv last summer despite the coronavirus.

Despite complaints that previous governments of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been slow to allocate resources to address the problem, Netanyahu himself has said in the past that violence against women is the same as terrorism.

I see violence against women as terrorism in every respect,” the prime minister said.