22 suspected pedophiles arrested in nationwide raids

More detentions expected after undercover operation tracked individuals who allegedly harassed and abused children online

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a man in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a man in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Police arrested 22 suspected pedophiles in raids overnight Monday across the country.

The arrests capped a three-month-long undercover operation that identified 31 suspects, police said in a statement.

The evidence indicated crimes of indecent acts and sexual harassment against children on the internet.

“We take a very serious view of any harm to minors or those who are helpless, and that includes crime in the virtual space,” the statement said.

Dozens of officers raided the homes of the suspects, arrested them, confiscated their computers and cellphones, and gathered other evidence, police said.

Officers will later in the day request an extension of their detention and more arrests are expected.

According to police, the suspects, all men, were aged 24-60 and most have no criminal record.

Israel Radio reported that there was apparently no coordination or other connection between the suspects.

Police said that despite the difficulties in acting against cyber-criminals, it uses advanced technology to “bring to arrest criminal pedophiles who prey on our children online and endanger their physical and emotional welfare.”

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