Construction Worker Accused of Raping 13-year-old Boarding School Student in Southern Israel

According to the indictment, 38-year-old West Bank resident sexually assaulted the girl on several occasions while renovating nearby building

Almog Ben Zikri
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FILE Photo: A suspect under arrest.
FILE Photo: A suspect under arrest.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Almog Ben Zikri

A Palestinian resident of the West Bank was indicted Sunday for "sodomy and indecent sexual acts" against a 13-year-old girl from the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.

The Be’er Sheva District Court heard that 38-year-old Ashraf Karaja, from the town of Halhul near Hebron, was living in a house he was renovating near a boarding school where the girl was staying.

According to the indictment, beginning in May, Karaja sexually assaulted the girl on a several occasions, and raped her at the house at the end of May.

The prosecution asked the court to keep Karaja in custody until the end of proceedings against him. The indictment, filed by the southern district prosecutor’s office, does not attribute any political motives to the alleged assaults. 

According to the police, Karaja was arrested about two weeks ago, after he tried to flee. But according to his attorney, Shani Farjun, he presented himself at a few police stations and each time he was told that he was not wanted for questioning.

She also said Karaja "denied the charges all along."