Disabled gang rape victim was ‘friendly’ with one attacker

Disabled gang rape victim was ‘friendly’ with one attacker

Woman assaulted by her brother’s neighbors told police they urinated, spat on her and called her a ‘dirty Jew’

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A mentally and physically handicapped Jewish woman who was gang raped by her brother’s Arab neighbors in Jaffa earlier this month, recalled her harrowing assault by the men, with whom she said she had a “casually friendly relationship,” in police testimony published Tuesday.

Police have flip-flopped in treating the May 11 assault as a nationalistically motivated attack before finally settling on a racism motive in the indictment, filed to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

According to her police testimony, obtained by Channel 10, the victim told investigators that she was home alone at her brother’s Jaffa apartment when his neighbors across the hall invited her to come over.

“Recently, I’ve been staying at my brother’s, and at around 8 p.m. on the eve of Independence Day, when I was at his apartment alone, his neighbors asked me to come over to visit,” she recalled. “When I got there, they locked the door behind me and then two of them raped me and did other bad things to me.

“They raped me one after the other, several times, while a third guy watched and filmed it on his cellphone, and would occasionally give them condoms,” she said.

During the assault, she said the men urinated and spat on her and called her a “dirty Jew.” They repeatedly warned her not to report them, she added.

The victim went on to tell police that she was acquainted with two of the three assailants.

“I know the guy who filmed it and the the younger Arab [a minor] who raped me from before,” she said. “They are the neighbors of my brother and his wife, and I’ve met them many times.

She described her relationship with the younger attacker as “casually friendly,” and said she had been over to their apartment before with her brother and sister-in-law on several occasions.

The victim’s brother told police he was friendly with his neighbors, and would occasionally buy drugs from them.

“We’re neighbors, we drank coffee a few times together, and sometimes I bought marijuana and hashish from them,” he said.

“My sister has briefly visited their apartment several times, but it was always with me and not alone,” he added. “In the days following the incident, I sensed a difference in my sister’s behavior, which is why I asked by wife to try and find out what happened.”

Last Wednesday, police revealed the two Palestinian suspects had been arrested for the attack.

One suspect, Imad Aldin Draghmah, at a Monday court hearing was remanded into custody for eight days. He denied all of the charges against him.

The second Palestinian suspect is underage, so his case is being handled by the Tel Aviv juvenile court.

The third suspect, an Israeli man, remains at large.

The incident became politicized last week when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used it to denounce the Israeli left and media, who he claimed hadn’t condemned the “horrifying crime.”

His remarks were roundly renounced by left-wing politicians, and, a day later, Netanyahu backtracked and apologizing for drawing conclusions before the police investigation was completed.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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