A Sudanese migrant was arrested Saturday on suspicion of breaking into a Petah Tikva home and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl while she slept, police said.
According to reports, the girl’s father found the 26-year-old suspect in his daughter’s bedroom and chased him off.
He was apprehended by police after a short search near the Petah Tikva home on Saturday.
The suspect will face a judge later on Saturday for a remand hearing.
He faces charges of attempted rape, assault and an indecent act involving a minor.
Official figures show nearly 47,000 illegal immigrants are currently residing in Israel, almost all from Eritrea and Sudan. Most live in the poorer neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, with some blaming them for rising crime rates in the city.
Israel has in recent years sought to limit the migrants’ numbers. It has built a fence along the border with Egypt, a once-common migration route, and sent many migrants to a desert detention facility — and in some cases back to third-party countries in Africa.
Many say they are fleeing conflict and persecution and are seeking refugee status. Israeli officials contend they are economic migrants, and have resisted calls to recognize them as refugees.
Israel’s approval ratings for refugee status are drastically lower than international levels. According to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, internationally, 84 percent of Eritreans and 56% of Sudanese asylum seekers received either refugee status or extended protection in 2014.