Gang rape in Eilat sends shock waves through Israel

Country shocked, outraged after police say 30 men alleged to have raped 16 year old in Eilat hotel.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israelis across the political spectrum reacted with outrage Thursday after a 16-year-old girl told police she had been raped by over 30 men at a hotel room in the southern resort city of Eilat.

“This is shocking, there is no other word. This is not just a crime against the girl, it is a crime against humanity itself that deserves all condemnation and that those responsible for it should be brought to justice,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted.

Police said that following the complaint from the girl over the incident last week they had appointed a special task force and made initial arrests.

“The special investigation team has so far arrested two suspects involved in the incident. Further arrests are expected in the case,” police said in a tweet.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the teenager and a friend traveled to Eilat, known as a top vacation center for Israelis, where they met several of her friend’s acquaintances at a hotel. The group was apparently consuming alcohol and the teen at some point went to one of the rooms to use the toilet. The teen told police that in that room she was repeatedly raped by dozens of men.

One of the arrested suspects, a 27-year-old man from northern Israel, may have exchanged text messages with the alleged victim including a message saying he had a video recording of the alleged rape.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted that since the news broke he had been trying unsuccessfully to understand “what is a man trying to prove, standing in a crowded line with dozens of people on the way to the room where a young girl is lying dazed.”

“The only thing you have proven is the level of degenerate mind and morality that can be reached,” Gantz said, adding that it was important for him to tell the teen “my heart is with you, you are not alone.”

Joint List Knesset member Aida Touma-Suleiman who previously chaired the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality called the alleged assault as “horrific.”

“Another gang rape by 30 violent men, an incomprehensible evil. The thought that a 16-year-old girl had to deal with that situation is mortifying,” Touma-Suleiman tweeted.

“She deserves a support system, which will back her claims with the required sensitivity and quickly collect forensic evidence. We cannot abandon victims in the face of the bureaucratic hell of the police and the justice system,” Touma-Suleiman added.