Woman Raped in Tel Aviv Declared Victim of Terror Attack

Defense Ministry concludes the rape was 'a violent act intended to injure a person due to her being Jewish and as part of the Israeli-Arab conflict.'

Moti Milrod

A woman who was raped in Tel Aviv in 2012 has been declared the victim of a hostile act committed out of political motives, the defense ministry announced on Thursday.

The National Insurance Institute has been informed of the decision, the ministry said. By law, the woman will now receive compensation payments.

The event occurred at 4 A.M. in the parking lot of a Tel Aviv mall, where the woman and her partner had parked their car. A man followed them, pulled a knife and forced the couple to have sex, after which he raped the woman in the toilet of the parking lot.

The rapist was identified as Ahmed Bani-Jaber, 21, a Palestinian from the village of Aqraba, near Nablus in the West Bank. He was apprehended several days after the rape and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for aggravated rape, sodomy and assault.

He was also ordered to pay the couple half-a-million shekels in compensation.

Sentencing Bani-Jaber, the judges described the rape as "an appalling and horrific act."

The victim and her partner did not testify to any statements by the rapist indicating that the attack was motivated by nationalism or "stemmed from the Israeli-Arab conflict," as required by law.

Nevertheless, attorney Yedidia Cohen, the defense ministry official responsible for defining incidents as hostile acts, decided to recognize the rape as such an act, given the rapist's previous indictment by a military court for stone-throwing and the aggravated nature of the crime.

The defense ministry added that the rapist had made several statements during interrogation which "indicated that there was a nationalistic motive to the act."

"Based on an overall view of the statements, it emerges that [the rape] was a violent act intended to injure a person due to her being Jewish and as part of the Israeli-Arab conflict," Cohen wrote in his decision.

"I hope that the victim of such a horrific act can now begin to renew her life and find relief for her pain."