Two Palestinians are currently in custody for allegedly raping and urinating on a mentally-disabled woman in south Tel Aviv, in what police say was a racially-motivated crime.
The incident allegedly took place on Yom Haatzmaut earlier this month, inside the 20-year-old victim’s aunt’s apartment. During the act, Imad Aladin Dragame, 42, allegedly filmed the rape, which police say was carried out by two other Palestinians – including a minor – who urinated and spit on the woman while shouting anti-Semitic slurs at her and threatening to murder her aunt and brother if she complained.
The third suspect in the case remains at large, while the minor and Dragame were on Wednesday ordered kept in custody for an additional 5 days.
For Dragame, a resident of Nablus with a legal permit to work inside Israel, it was the third remand hearing since he was arrested on May 16th, following a complaint by the victim’s aunt. He also faces drug charges after police allegedly found 11.5 grams of marijuana in his apartment, which is in the same building as the victim’s aunt.
The suspect’s attorney Ofir Katabi asked police in court on Wednesday why more than 8 days after his client’s arrest police had yet to produce the video he allegedly shot of the assault, even though they have had possession of his phone since his arrest.
In previous hearings, Katabi appeared to attempt to cast doubt on the testimony of the alleged victim and her aunt. During the first remand hearing on May 17th, attorney Ofir Katabi said his client “is a married father with a legal work permit in Israel,” and accused the alleged victim of being “a serial complainer who has issued false complaints in the past.”
He also said that his client and the woman’s aunt – who issued the police complaint had a number of disagreements in the past and that the victim herself had been questioned a week earlier at the Dizengoff police station for attacking her aunt’s boyfriend with a bottle.
Katabi continued this line of defense during the second hearing on May 22nd, during which he said that a few days before she issued the rape complaint, the aunt was questioned by police on suspicion of stabbing her boyfriend, a drug addict.
During that same hearing, Sgt. Maj. Yisrael Sianov, the officer representing the police minced no words about the grave nature of the case, saying “this was an incident of the utmost severity – the rape and exploitation of a helpless girl with mental disabilities, while they degraded and humiliated her, and urinated on the victim while yelling racial slurs at her.”
He continued, “in addition, they threatened her not to tell anyone, saying they would rape her aunt and murder her brother. This is a shocking incident.”
Last March, the Defense Ministry recognized the victim of a 2012 rape in Tel Aviv as a terror victim, due to the nationalist nature of the attack.
The rape of the Israeli girl and her boyfriend was carried out at knife point in a bathroom at the parking lot of Tel Aviv’s Gan Ha’ir complex, during which the attacker, Nablus native Ahmed Jaber beat and assaulted both victims for over an hour.
During his interrogating, police said he told investigators that Jews are “foreign residents” and “not sons of the land” and said Jewish girls “who wander the streets” lack respect.
The state concluded that the attack was carried out to harm Jews and as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and not as a purely criminal sex crime.