Family Member of Suspects in Gay Youth Center Shooting Arrested for Alleged Rape

The family member was involved in the police investigation into the suspects in the 2009 Tel Aviv shooting at the Barnoar, in which two people were killed.

Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich

A family member of the two suspects in the 2009 Barnoar shooting was arrested on Thursday by Petah Tikva Police, for an alleged rape. The suspect's remand was extended by four days on Friday.

Late Thursday night, a Petah Tikva resident filed a complaint at the local police station, stating that she was raped by the suspect. According to her claims, while the two were at her apartment, the suspect began speaking to her inappropriately, and she tried to fend him off. After a short struggle, she claimed, he raped her.

The police officers that arrested the suspect quickly realized that the suspect was a convicted felon, whose file was held by the Israel Police's Unit of International Crime Investigations. The suspect's identity was quickly revealed and it was discovered that he is a family member of the two suspects in the Barnoar shooting, in which two people were killed.

The family member was very involved in the investigation into the Barnoar shooting suspects, was present at the hearing to extend their remand, and make statements expressing discontent with the government.

Last night, an escaped state's witness in the Barnoar affair gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper, in which he talked about one of the suspects in the shooting, Hagai Felician's, clash with the police, after the former decided to become a state's witness. "The fight with Hagai was tough, he asked me to look him in the eyes. So I looked him in the eyes and said, 'you're the murderer, and you did all this.' He said that I was a liar. I didn't expect him to confess."

The witness also stated that during the party celebrating his release from jail, roughly two years after the murder, he met with Felician.

"Me and Hagai spoke in a room while my Facebook page was open. Coincidentally, I had spoken with Shaul Ganon." Ganon is the LGBT activist, a founder of Barnoar, who police claim was the target of the shooting. 

According to the witness, when Hagai saw the conversation, he said "How did that son of a bitch not die? No matter, I killed at least a few others."

Hagai Felician (in black shirt, center) in court.Credit: Moti Milrod

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