Police arrested Monday evening a 21-year-old Palestinian on suspicion of brutally raping a 18-year-old girl in a parking lot adjacent to the Tel Aviv municipality building over the weekend. Another four Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of being his accomplices.
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Officers from the Yarkon police sub-district arrested the West Bank resident at around 20:45 on Ibn Gvirol Street - not far from the scene of the crime - and took him in for questioning. Yarkon sub-district commander Yoram Ohayon said the suspects "may have been involved in other incidents."
Oyahon told Ynet the suspect "is very familiar with all of the streets" near the crime scene.
Police at crime scene (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
The rape occurred when the girl and her 17-year-old boyfriend entered the Gan Ha-Ir parking lot, where their car was parked, at around 3:30 am on Friday night. The attacker ambushed the two and threatened them with a blunt object, forcing them into a nearby public bathroom, where he allegedly forced them to have sex, and then raped the woman himself while forcing her boyfriend to watch.
According to the initial investigation, the main suspect is a resident of Nablus area and has been residing in Israel illegally. According to police, he lived for a long period time in north Tel Aviv and worked in local restaurants.
Investigators, who searched the location in which the suspect had stayed in over the past few days, said it was too soon to tell whether the attack was premeditated or random.
In an interview with the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, the boyfriend said the rapist "held a knife to my stomach for three hours and forced me to see what he was doing to her. I was scared for her."
The boyfriend said the attacker punched him every time he asked for him to stop. "I could have fought him, but I thought he could get angry and slam her head against the wall," he said.
Police have collected DNA samples and finger prints from the scene.