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Palestinian man suspected of impersonating cop to sexually harass teenage boys

30-year-old Bethlehem resident arrested after claiming to be an undercover officer when he approached teens near Jerusalem park

Illustrative -- Police tape in Independence Park on July 30, 2015 (Garrett Mills/Flash90)
Illustrative -- Police tape in Independence Park on July 30, 2015 (Garrett Mills/Flash90)

Police arrested a Palestinian man on Sunday on suspicion of impersonating an undercover police officer to commit indecent acts on a group of teenage boys in Jerusalem.

The suspect, said to be aged around 30 and a resident of Bethlehem in the West Bank, allegedly harassed the three 16-year-old boys near the city’s Independence Park.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the man fled when he realized police had been called to the scene.

Police located the suspect on a bus as he was making his way home and arrested him.

His detention was extended until Monday.

According to the Walla news site, the case was not the first time in recent years that a man was accused of dressing as an undercover officer as a ploy to sexually abuse others.

Last month, a man was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment following a 2021 incident in Lod during which he presented himself as an undercover cop to sexually harass a 27-year-old woman. The 28-year-old man from Rantis in the West Bank posed as a detective and conducted a search on the woman under the pretext of her not wearing a mask.

In February 2020, a 24-year-old man was accused of committing indecent acts on a number of boys in the central city of Modiin. The suspect, a resident of East Jerusalem, disguised himself as an undercover police officer and allegedly performed indecent acts on them.

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