Eight Arrested in Connection With Group Rapes in North

Suspects accused of raping at knifepoint young girls they picked up from hitchhiking posts.

Three more people were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday in connection with a series of group rapes in the north, bringing the total number of suspects arrested to eight. All of the suspects are residents of Birel-Machsur, a village in the Lower Galilee.

The remand of the two suspects arrested on Monday was extended by 10 days. The eighth suspect, arrested Wednesday, will be remanded on Thursday.

Four of the suspects arrested in connection with the case have confessed to the charges against them.

Two of the suspects are accused only of aiding in the rapes.

According to the commander of the northern region's central police unit, there will be more arrests in the case.

The suspects were arrested following a covert investigation conducted by northern region's central police unit. The breakthrough in the case came after DNA samples taken from the suspects were positively matched with samples found at the scene of the crime.

The four rape victims - aged 13, 16, 21 and 25 - are all residents of the Haifa area.

The suspects are accused of raping and sexually assaulting at knifepoint young girls that they picked up from hitchhiking posts.

Nazareth Magistrates Court released the case for publication on Tuesday.

Police were in possession of a locket that was snatched from the neck of one of the rapists by one of his victims on December 25, and contained his picture.

Police decided to keep the details of the case secret in order for fear of disrupting the investigation.