A 20-year-old Eritrean man was arrested over the weekend and charged with the rape of an elderly woman near the Tel Aviv central bus station, police announced on Monday.
The rape apparently took place over several hours in the 83-year-old woman’s apartment. The suspect allegedly bolted after a member of the woman’s family came for a visit and caught him in the act.
Using DNA samples, police were able to track the suspect down. The samples matched genetic material in the police data bank because the man had previously been arrested in connection to other sexual assaults.
A Tel Aviv court remanded the man in custody for four days, and the judge ordered a battery of medical tests to rule out the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
The victim was admitted to the hospital, and has not yet been released.
Speaking after news of the arrest was made public, Interior Minister Eli Yishai called on the Justice and Foreign ministries to give him the authority to deport all remaining African migrants, whom he and other right-wing politicians consistently refer to as “infiltrators.”
“This shocking rape illustrates the lost sense of security Israeli citizens feel in areas with a high concentration of infiltrators,” Yishai said. On Monday it was reported that Yishai’s party had created a campaign video that focused on the ostensible danger posed to Israeli society by migrants.
Police have expressed concern that the rape, combined with statements made by several right-wing politicians denigrating the African migrant community in Israel, might lead to violence.
Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben Gvir of the Otzma Leyisrael (Power to Israel) party announced that they would hold a rally on Monday evening near the Tel Aviv bus station to protest the African migrants’ continued presence in Israel.
Several rallies held in Tel Aviv in May and June of this year resulted in violence against not only illegal African migrants, but against many legal ones and Ethiopian-born Jews as well. Police were preparing reinforcements to ensure that Monday’s rally did not deteriorate as well.