Israel Police on Tuesday found a bloodied boy of 12 from the Bedouin village of Segev Shalom tied up in chains in a water hole. A 30-year-old relative was arrested hours later as a suspect in the case.
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The boy apparently spent the entire night tied up at the site, and police suspect the background of the assault is a family dispute.
Negev police told Haaretz that the investigation has only just been initiated and that at this stage there is no suspicion of sexual assault.
Police received a report early in the morning from a person who refused to identify himself that the boy had been spotted in a wadi (or rivulet).
In subsequent searches the boy was found, exhausted and bleeding from his legs. They gave him first aid and transferred him to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. His condition was listed as fair to moderate, after sustaining blows to various parts of the body.