12 Israelis Arrested in Cyprus on Suspicion of Gang Raping U.K. Tourist

Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed the arrests and said it notified suspects' families

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
Konnos Bay beach near Protaras, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Konnos Bay beach near Protaras, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.Credit: Kirillm / iStockphoto via Getty
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Twelve Israelis, some under 18, were arrested in Cyprus on suspicion that they raped a 19-year-old British tourist at a hotel in the resort town Ayia Napa, local media outlets reported Wednesday.

The court decided to extend the men's remand by eight days on Thursday, while local media reported the woman is expected to undergo further medical examinations.

Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed that it was aware of the suspects' arrests. "The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossef Wurmbrand, is following the situation and is in contact with those who have been detained. Their families have been notified," a statement by the ministry read.

"We are trying to help them as much as we can, working according to the local authorities' instructions. We are in constant contact with the authorities, and once we have more information we will publish it," Wurmbrand said.

Investigations and forensic examinations are ongoing, according to state broadcaster RIK.

Police vehicles in Nicosia, Cyprus, June 24, 2019.Credit: Petros Karadjias,AP

Lawyer Yaniv Habari, representing the suspects, told Haaretz he met them and “they’re in a good mood.” He declined to comment on whether they deny the accusations.

"So far the police have extracted DNA samples from them and at this stage I cannot provide further details. We are talking here about young boys, minors," the suspects' lawyer said.

Ayia Napa, on Cyprus's southeastern coast, is considered a popular holiday destination for Israelis.

DPA and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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