A 22-year-old resident of the northern village of Illut has been arrested on suspicion of raping an 82-year-old woman and attempting to rape two other younger women, police revealed on Monday after a gag order was lifted in the case.

Police said that the suspect, Mohaned Abud had worked on a kibbutz near the town of Sderot, and that in March 2009 he allegedly entered the elderly woman's home and brutally raped her.

"I begged him to leave me alone, and I told him that I was old and sick, but he would let me go," the women told the police after he was arrested.

"The police were in shock from the terrible and cruel act," said Sderot police chief Shimon Nachmani.

Abud was arrested in April after he allegedly attempted to rape a Border Police woman who was waiting for the bus at a station in the southern Galilee. During the investigation following his arrest, the previous instances he is now suspected of were revealed, police said.

Abud was taken to the 82-year-old woman's house for reenactment of the event, but he refused and said that he did not recognize the house. "I don't know this house, I have never been here and I have never raped anyone," he told police.

Police, however, claim that they have substantial evidence, including DNA samples from the alleged rape scenes, which tied him to the crimes.