Police are investigating the murder of a woman whose body was found on the floor of a restroom stall at the Tel Aviv central bus station on Tuesday morning.
There were signs of blows to the victim's head. Police were originally not sure if the woman, apparently in her 40s, sustained her head injuries in a fall, but they ultimately concluded she was attacked and killed.
The woman's body was found about 9 A.M. when someone informed a security guard that water was seeping from under the restroom stall. The guard approached the stall and noticed that the water was mixed with blood. He opened the door and found the woman. Police and Magen David Adom rescue services were called, but the rescue crew's attempts to revive the woman were unsuccessful.
The central bus station is equipped with closed circuit cameras throughout the facility, including the entrance to the restroom and the corridors leading to it.
Police have asked the public not to jump to conclusions as to the identity of the woman's assailant, and a gag order has been issued in the case. Tensions in the area around the bus station have been particularly high in recent weeks, as a result of the large presence of African migrants in the neighborhood and demonstrations against them. There were several incidents in which the migrants were attacked, as well as several in which they were implicated in criminal acts.
Merchants at the Tel Aviv bus station on Tuesday called on members of the public to come to the station without concern for their safety. The shopkeepers said recent violence in the area and the tension over the migrants in the neighborhood have kept customers away, hurting their business over the past few months.
Criminal charges were recently filed against Eritrean nationals on suspicion of attacking a man and woman outside the bus station, and attempted rape of the woman. Three suspects are accused of assaulting the couple after they had left a place of entertainment in the area. Two of the defendants are charged with attempted rape.
In 2010, a woman was raped in the central bus station's restroom during daytime hours, when the station is crowded. A 19-year-old man from Bat-Yam was charged with that crime.
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