African refugees in Tel Aviv (archives)
Photo: Tani Goldstein

Eritrean refugee says raped by 8 Bedouins in Sinai

Twenty-five-year-old female refugee from Eritrea who infiltrated into Israel says she was sexually attacked by Bedouins who led her, other refugees through Sinai. Population and Immigration Border Authority officials say familiar with phenomenon

The journey of African refugees to Israel entails many dangers along the way. Refugees, for example, run the risk of being shot by Egyptian security forces, as has occured in the past. However, women face another peril – some are raped just before entering the Jewish state.


Shalom Yehosua from the Population and Immigration Border Authority said that a 25-year-old woman from Eritrea who recently crossed the border into Israel said she was raped by eight Bedouins leading her and a group of refugees through the Sinai Peninsula.


"She was very closed-off, cried all the time and nearly didn't speak, I instructed not to question her at that stage," Yehoshua told Ynet. "She was very frightened. An army medic performed an initial examination and she was turned over to the Israel Prison Service for more tests."


Yehoshua further added that his unit, which is responsible for questioning infiltrators and has been active for two years, has encountered dozens of women who were raped on the way to Israel. One couple, he said, tried to infiltrate into Israel when the husband was caught right before crossing the border, while another refugee raped his wife. The wife is currently in Israel with her baby, a result of the rape.


Israel is treating sexually abused refugees in a shelter for sex traffic victims created by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry.


Yael Hermel, who is in charge of the shelters which contain 35 beds, said that they are almost always full at any given moment. According to her, should the 25-year-old woman be found eligible, she will be placed at a shelter where she will stay for several months and be given appropriate care.


"The State won't throw her out to the street and will assist in any way possible, even before her status is examined," she said.


פרסום ראשון: 02.08.10, 00:05
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