Palestinian youth arrested near Nablus on suspicion of raping girl in Tel Aviv
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Palestinian youth arrested near Nablus on suspicion of raping girl in Tel Aviv

Juvenile court extends for five days remand of suspect who entered Israel illegally, allegedly carrying out series of sex crimes against young women he met on the street

Police announced on Wednesday that they had arrested a Palestinian minor suspected of serial sexual assault, including the rape of a minor in Tel Aviv.

The suspect was arrested in the West Bank village of Kabalan, near Nablus, where he has been in hiding to avoid Israeli authorities.

Undercover Border Police officers raided a compound of several homes in the village earlier Wednesday morning after a lengthy and “complex” undercover investigation, police said in a statement.

Officers found the suspect sleeping in one of the homes.

The youth is accused of raping a girl he came across on a Tel Aviv street, as well as multiple other “indecent acts” toward women and girls. Police said he had entered Israel illegally from the West Bank.

A juvenile court in Tel Aviv subsequently ordered  his remand extended by five days.

“The intelligence sharing and cooperation between police forces operating in Israeli communities and Border Police forces operating deep inside Palestinian villages in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) proves that the long arm of the Israel Police will reach any of those fleeing to territories, even when the offenses committed are of criminal nature,” Border Police said in a statement.

Mahmoud Qadusa seen after his release from Israeli Jail, at the Beitunia crossing, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Last week, police released four Palestinians detained over their suspected involvement in the alleged rape of a 7-year-old Israeli girl in a central West Bank settlement earlier this year.

Two of the men were arrested Tuesday, over a month after a military prosecutor dropped all charges against another Palestinian suspect in the case.

The arrests were the first to be made since the case against Mahmoud Qadusa fell apart under intense public scrutiny in late June, in an affair that drew accusations of shoddy police work.

A police official said that in the coming weeks, they will be seeking to question all Palestinians that were in the ultra-Orthodox settlement during the period they believe the girl had been raped. They will also be questioning other members of the community and have not ruled out the possibility that a fellow Jewish resident could have been the perpetrator.

Qadusa, who worked in custodial services at the girl’s school, was held in jail for nearly two months as he was investigated for the alleged rape. His release came after questions were raised over the police’s handling of the probe.

After returning to his home in the central West Bank village of Dir Kadis following his release, Qadusa asserted that he had never met the alleged victim and that “someone was behind the whole ordeal who told her to identify me [as the rapist].”

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