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A Modi'in Ilit rabbi was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of making 1,200 obscene phone calls to children, Channel 10 news reported.

The rabbi, 36, who is also a school teacher, is suspected of impersonating an Education Ministry official and calling children in the afternoon when he believed their parents not to be at home.

Police began investigating after four children complained about a man who had called them in the afternoon and asked them frank sexual questions. The children's parents then alerted police.

Police said the suspect made 1,200 phone calls, used a pay-as-you-go phone and called random numbers to try to cover his tracks.

Police said the rabbi told them he was not harassing the children, according to Channel 10, but that he was studying child sexual assault and trying to find out when children are exposed to sexual subject matter.