Thousands of Israelis Protest Sexual Violence After Gang Rape of 16-year-old Girl

Earlier, Israeli workers participated in a strike at noon for half an hour under the title 'Women's strike - Girls and women are no man's land'

Lee Yaron
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Women protesting against the rape of a 16-year-old Israeli girl in Eilat, in Tel Aviv, August 23, 2020.
Women protesting against the rape of a 16-year-old Israeli girl in Eilat, in Tel Aviv, August 23, 2020.Credit: Meged Gozani
Lee Yaron

Some two thousand Israelis gathered Sunday evening to decry sexual violence against women at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, following the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in the southern resort city of Eilat.

The protesters blocked several streets leading up to the square and some dozens began marching down a main street after the protest ended, accompanied by police. 

The demonstrators shouted slogans including "No means no, which part of no did you not understand yet?" "This is not a mistake, this is policy," and "Enough, we're fed up, arrest the rapists." 

Earlier, Israeli workers participated in a strike at noon for half an hour under the title "Women's strike - Girls and women are no man's land."

Israelis protesting against the rape of 16-year-old girl at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2020.
Israelis protesting against the rape of 16-year-old girl at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2020. Credit: Meged Gozani

"On Thursday evening, after hearing about the horrific rape in Eilat, I felt I could not breathe," said Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Moran Zer Katzenstein at the protest. "Our strength is in the fact that we are women - we are 51% of Israeli citizens. We are the engine of the economy. And today we have come to say - we will not move with the agenda anymore - if it does not stop we will stop."

In total, police have arrested 11 people in connection with the incident. Seven minors from the south of Israel were arrested on Sunday, and police intend to ask the court to prolong their detention.

Earlier police arrested a 17-year-old who was the fourth suspect taken into custody, and extended his detention until Tuesday. 

Another 17-year-old was arrested earlier Saturday in connection with the case. According to police sources, it was not immediately clear whether he was in physical contact with the girl or was only present at the scene. He denies any involvement.

Two 27-year-old men who were arrested last week have been described by police as main suspects with evidence against them that goes beyond security footage from the hotel.

Also on Sunday, police arrested the manager of the hotel where the incident occurred and she was detained for questioning on suspicion of obstructing the investigation and failing to prevent a crime.

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