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Police reprimanded rape victim for violating quarantine to go to hospital

An unvaccinated woman who was raped on vacation in Sinai returned to Israel and went to the hospital; she says policemen who came there treated her aggressively, fined her friend

Illustrative: Israeli travelers enter a COVID testing center at the Menahem Begin Terminal or Taba passage, between Israel and Egypt, on August 1, 2021. (Noam Revkin Fenton/FLASH90)
Illustrative: Israeli travelers enter a COVID testing center at the Menahem Begin Terminal or Taba passage, between Israel and Egypt, on August 1, 2021. (Noam Revkin Fenton/FLASH90)

A woman who filed a police report alleging that she was raped while vacationing in the Sinai Peninsula says that police reprimanded her for violating quarantine to go to the hospital upon returning, and fined her friend for accompanying her.

The woman, a 23-year-old from Rehovot, traveled to Sinai with a female friend, where they both paid for diving lessons. While in the water, the woman alleged, a diving instructor assaulted and raped her. The two cut short their trip in order to return to Israel, seek medical treatment, and file a police complaint, although they first had to wait for the results of a COVID-19 PCR test.

Upon returning to Israel, the two friends went to the emergency room at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon to report the rape. The police officer who was summoned to the hospital to take the woman’s testimony, however, reprimanded the two women — who are not vaccinated — for violating quarantine after returning to Israel.

“I was disappointed to meet such an insensitive police officer,” the woman told Channel 12. “All of the police officers who came with her — and also those who gave her instructions on the phone — did not address the trauma I’m in.”

Her friend added: “Instead of probing the horrible rape… the cops asked us why we’re not in quarantine. [My friend] wanted to know she was okay, she was in real pain and on medication, and then she got a warning for breaking quarantine, and I got an NIS 5,000 ($1,500) fine. Instead of helping us, they punished us.”

Poice told the alleged victim that she should come to the police station to give testimony once her quarantine period was over.

In a statement, the Israel Police said that “there was no quarantine enforcement for the victim, but she was invited at the end of quarantine to the police station to clarify the situation with the required sensitivity.”

The police added that the fine handed to the woman’s friend “was carried out in accordance with the law. However, her case was referred to a specialist who will look into canceling the fine due to the unique circumstances.”

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