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Alleged Gang Rape of Teen Girl a 'Crime Against Humanity'

Netanyahu calls for justice in case that may have involved up to 30 men
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2020 7:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two suspects are in custody after an alleged attack in a Red Sea resort city in Israel that the prime minister calls "shocking," and there may be more arrests to come. Per the New York Times, police rep Nava Dihi says a 16-year-old girl came to Ashkelon police on Aug. 14 with a disturbing claim: that she'd been gang-raped two days earlier in a hotel in Eilat while on a trip with other girls. Per local media, the girls stayed at a private villa but met up to drink with friends in a nearby hotel room, which is when the teen says the rapes took place. One of the accused says up to 30 men had sex with the reportedly intoxicated girl, though he says it was consensual. Authorities say the girl's friend tried to stop the attack from taking place but wasn't able to, per the BBC. A police rep notes the number of suspects hasn't been confirmed, and that some of those present may not have participated.

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That same rep, however, adds that even just being present could bring charges. "This is not just a crime against the girl, it is a crime against humanity itself that deserves all condemnation and that those responsible for it should be brought to justice," tweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One result of this case is that the nation's education minister has now mandated sexual-violence prevention programs in schools for the upcoming school year. "We will take action so that every boy and girl in Israel has a deep understanding of the boundaries of what is permissible and what is forbidden," Yoav Galant said on Thursday, per the Times. Meanwhile, thousands have been taking part in protests in Israel to back the teen, and the girl herself is grateful for all the support. "I feel that there are a lot of people behind me and this really strengthens me," she told local media, per the Times of Israel. (Read more Israel stories.)

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