Israel Police Say Tracked Down All Suspects in Gang Rape of 16-year-old Girl

According to the police, out of the 17 suspects, 13 were arrested on suspicion of having raped the girl, whose version was found to be 'reliable and is backed by evidentiary findings'

Almog Ben Zikri
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The Red Sea Hotel in Eilat
The Red Sea Hotel in EilatCredit: Liav Peled
Almog Ben Zikri

The Israel Police said Thursday that they have tracked down all of the suspects in the gang rape case of a 16-year-old girl at a hotel in Eilat two weeks ago, adding that the investigation is nearing its end.

According to the police, out of the 17 suspects, 13 were arrested on suspicion of having raped the girl. Three other suspects have not yet been arrested and the police refuse to provide further information about their involvement. In addition, the manager of the Red Sea Hotel, where the rape took place, Pnina Maman, was also arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice and failure to prevent a felony.  

Thirteen of the suspects are minors. A source involved in the case told Haaretz that indictments against the suspects are expected to be filed next week.

The detention of ten of the suspects was extended and the rest were released, including Maman, as well as three suspects who are minors. The police said that the girl's version "was found to be reliable and is backed by evidentiary findings."  

On Wednesday, several suspects in the case told police they saw some of their friends, who were also arrested, sexually assaulting the girl while she was partially conscious, but those suspects denied the allegations.

According to a source familiar with the details of the investigation, security cameras at the Red Sea Hotel showed that some people stayed outside the room where the girl was staying while others went inside. 

Text messages sent to the 16-year-girl from the cellphone of one of the suspects said that the rape was filmed. Police are still working to trace the videos, assuming they exist, and to prevent their circulation on social media.