Two Bedouin Men Arrested in Southern Israel on Suspicion of Keeping Sister Chained Up

Police raid home in northern Negev and find woman, 31, with metal chain attached to her leg – fourth such discovery in community in recent years

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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The Bedouin woman with a metal chain around her leg, in the Negev town of Lakiya, February 14, 2018.
The Bedouin woman with a metal chain around her leg, in the Negev town of Lakiya, February 14, 2018.Credit: Israel Police
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

Two men from a Bedouin town in southern Israel were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly keeping their 31-year-old sister chained up at home.

Police officers had come to their house in Lakiya, the northern Negev, to carry out a search unrelated to the woman, but found her there with a metal chain attached to her leg. The officers released her and arrested her brothers, ages 20 and 30.

A preliminary investigation found that it wasn’t the first time the woman had been chained up at home. Her brothers often chained her up for a few hours, or even days, at a time, the police said. She is now staying with a relative.

The woman has no history of mental health issues. The suspected reason for her shackling was her brothers’ displeasure with her behavior. They said she spent too much time out of the house and spoke to too many people, a police officer said.

The police initially raided the home over suspicions that drugs or weapons were being stored there. The brothers were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, and the police said they intended to ask the court to extend their detention before indictment.

In 2016, the police handled at least three cases of people being found chained up in Bedouin communities. That April, a 12-year-old boy was found chained inside a water cistern in Segev Shalom. Five months later, the police found a man chained to a pole in the town of Hura. And, the same month, a 43-year-old man was found chained up in a shack in Al Fura.