South Tel Aviv residents, rightists protest African migrants following rape

JERUSALEM (JTA) — South Tel Aviv residents and right wing activists protested against African migrants, following reports that an Eritrean man brutally raped an elderly Israeli woman.

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The rape of the 83-year-old woman occurred last week but was reported for the first time on Monday, An Eritrean man in his 20s was arrested for allegedly committing the rape. He previously  had been arrested in connection with other sexual assaults, according to the Times of Israel. The alleged rapist on Monday was ordered held for four days.

The dozens of protesters marched Monday evening from the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv to the central bus station, to protest the crime and to call for the deportation of African migrants.

Among those leading the protest were members of the rightist Strong Israel Party, including lawmaker Michael Ben Ari.

“I call to issue a temporary order to deport all the infiltrators back to Africa. It is much more dangerous here than it is in Eritrea,” Ben Ari told protesters, Haaretz reported. 

A number of violent incidents targeting African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea, believed to number 60,000 to 70,000 in Israel, occurred over the summer and also in recent weeks.

More than 10,000 infiltrators entered Israel during 2012, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement released this week. Some 3,920 infiltrators from Africa left Israel in 2012. In addition, all infiltrators who entered Israel since June were sent directly to holding facilities and not to Israeli cities, according to the statement.

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