Hadash lawmakers and activists expressed their outrage on Thursday, August 20, after a 16-year-old girl claimed that more than 30 men had gang-raped her last week in a hotel room in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat. The teenage victim filed a police complaint on Friday, accusing dozens on men of sexually assaulting her in the hotel room two days earlier. Due to the large number of possible suspects, police have formed a special investigative team. In the wake of the horrifying announcement, a number of demonstrations were held across Israel Thursday evening to protest violence against women.
Joint List MK and former chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) described the alleged assault as “horrid.” “Another gang rape by 30 violent men is an evil that is incomprehensible. The thought that a 16-year-old girl had to deal with that situation is mortifying.” “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-Sliman said.
According to Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash), “The accusations are gut-wrenching. It is our duty as a society and a state to viciously fight the culture which allows such horrid incidents to occur, and support the victims as much as possible.”
The Israel Women’s Network said in a statement, “30 men wait in line to rape a 16-year-old girl, and the world still stands and the headlines still deal with the same issues. The life of a young woman has been shattered. Out hearts are with her.” Nine out of 10 rape crimes in Israel are closed by prosecutors without charging the alleged perpetrator, according to an annual survey released at the end of last year, which also found a significant increase in reports made to the authorities about sexual assault and harassment. The report by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel found that in 2018 police opened 6,220 investigations into alleged sex crimes and harassment, including 1,166 suspected rapes, constituting a 12% increase compared to 2017 and a 40% rise from 2013.