4 suspected of planning to attack Arabs in revenge over rape in Gedera

Group released under restrictive conditions and ordered to stay away from city where assault took place, allegedly by Bedouin man

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

A construction site for new housing in the city of Gedera, February 3, 2022. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Illustrative: A construction site for new housing in the southern town of Gedera, February 3, 2022. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Police on Tuesday questioned four men on suspicion that they were planning to attack Arab construction workers in Gedera as revenge for the recent rape of a woman in the southern town.

The four residents of the town are suspected of planning — in a WhatsApp group — to break into construction sites and target Palestinian laborers, police said in a statement.

Police said they had warned the group a day before they were brought into the station not to take the law into their own hands.

The suspects were released under restrictive conditions and ordered to stay away from Gedera for a certain period.

The woman reported in a local WhatsApp group last week that she was raped in front of her children the night before.

Police on Saturday arrested a 22-year-old in the West Bank on suspicion that he committed the crime, along with six others with alleged connections to the case.

A man, suspected of breaking into an apartment and raping a woman in Gedera, arrives for a court hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, on February 5, 2023. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

All of the suspects are residents of unrecognized Bedouin communities in the Negev Desert.

According to police, the evidence so far raised “a suspicion toward one family, which likely works in the city.”

The rape and break-in sparked protests demanding personal safety be restored in Gedera.

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