Thousands of Women Smuggled Into Israel for Sex Trade

Ruth Sinai
Haaretz Correspondent
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Ruth Sinai
Haaretz Correspondent

Between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution over the past four years, according to a Knesset committee investigative report examining the status of the sex trade in Israel. The trafficking in women amounts to around a billion dollars every year.

Yahad MK Zehava Gal-On, chair of the parliamentary Committee Against Trade in Women, submitted the extensive report on Wednesday to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.

The women, sold to pimps for $8,000 to $10,000, are forced to work seven days a week and between 14 and 18 hours a day.

The woman receive just NIS 20 from the NIS 120 paid by the customer.

"When I established the investigative committee, my goal was to map the extent of the phenomenon and to make both the policy-makers and the public aware of the brutal nature of the trade in women in the age of globalization," Gal-On wrote in the report's introduction.

"They should understand that right in Israeli society's front yard there is sexual slavery that we have to eradicate," she wrote.

The committee stated that its extensive action has led to a significant improvement of the different state authorities - such as the judicial system, the state prosecution and police - in their commitment to fight human trafficking.

Many other problems still remained, however, the report stated.

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