4 men to be charged in kidnapping, attempted murder of their relative, a teen girl

Police believe victim fled hometown after another relative raped her two weeks earlier

Illustrative: Police units in the Bedouin city of Rahat after a shooting incident, April 8, 2021. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Police units in the Bedouin city of Rahat after a shooting incident, April 8, 2021. (Israel Police)

Police on Tuesday announced that they will be filing charges against four men for the suspected kidnap and attempted murder of their 17-year-old relative, a resident of the southern Bedouin town of Rahat.

The girl was found on May 1 in a forest some eight miles north of Rahat with stab wounds throughout her body. She was rushed to the hospital in moderate condition. Police believe she fled her hometown to Beersheba after another one of her relatives raped her two weeks prior to the kidnapping.

The alleged rapist, who is in his 40s, has been arrested along with the four relatives — all in their 20s — who police say kidnapped and attempted to kill the girl by snatching her from Beersheba and bringing her to the abandoned forest, stabbing her repeatedly and leaving her to die.

Police said an indictment will likely be filed against the five relatives on Thursday and that they will ask the court for the suspects to remain behind bars until the conclusion of proceedings against them.

Earlier Tuesday, a man was fatally shot in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, the latest killing in a wave that has seen the homicide rate double so far this year.

A woman was also lightly injured in the shooting, police said in a statement.

Medical teams declared the man, a 50-year-old resident of the Haifa district town, dead at the scene. The woman was taken for further medical attention.

The shooting brought to 85 the number of Arabs killed in violent crime since the beginning of the year, of whom 74 were shot, according to the anti-violence Abraham Initiatives monitoring group.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 90 killings nationwide, more than twice the number in the same period for 2022. Police minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right lawmaker who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crimewave.

On Monday, the opposition parties summoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a special debate on the country’s homicide rate. Addressing the plenum, Netanyahu issued a public invitation to Arab MKs to meet with him on the deadly violence in their community. According to a Channel 12 report, Arab lawmakers are insistent that Ben Gvir, leader of the Otzma Yehudit party, not be at the meeting.

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