October 29, 2006

Jewesses raped by Arab gang in Safed area

An Israeli Arab gang is believed to be responsible for a series of recent abductions and rapes in the northern region, Carmiel police said Wednesday.

Police narrowed down the description of the group after a Carmiel woman testified to having been kidnapped and raped by three Arab men last week. Her testimony matched those of two other victims who were raped in recent weeks in northern groves. Police are checking for possible connections between the incidents.

The Carmiel woman, 21, said she was walking in a city neighborhood at around 11 P.M., when she was approached by a white car carrying three Arab passengers. Two of the passengers pulled her into the car by force and drove to a grove near Safed. The woman said two of the suspects attacked and raped her while the third stood by and guarded the site.

The woman said she was held in the grove for more than two hours after the attack, at which point the suspects drove her back to the Carmiel area, and left her to her own devices.

Roey Waldman, Carmiel police chief of investigation and intelligence, said after the woman went home, relatives brought her to the hospital and reported the incident to police.

The woman was unable to pinpoint the exact location of the attack in her testimony and was not able to describe the suspects accurately, though they had not been masked.

Police on Wednesday asked for public support in locating the suspects. "As far as we are concerned, every piece of information could help. If someone saw a young woman struggling with men in the late hours of the night, or in a car in the Carmiel area, please inform the police," said Waldman. He also implored women to take extra caution and report any suspicious activity to police.