Sexual assault victim (stock image)
Sexual assault victim (stock image)i-Stock

A 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Eritrea residing in south Tel Aviv was arrested over the weekend, on suspicion that he raped a woman and held her captive in an apartment.

According to a report by Israel Hayom, a 28-year-old woman from the Sharon region in central Israel was raped by the Eritrean illegal immigrant in his apartment in south Tel Aviv. The suspect then locked the woman in the apartment, holding her captive.

On Saturday, after the suspect left the apartment, the victim managed to escape and alerted police officers stationed in the area.

After a positive identification on the suspect was made, police arrested the man.

The victim told police that while she was held captive in the man’s apartment she screamed for help. Two other migrant men heard her calls for assistance and rescued her from the apartment.

The suspect’s arrest was extended on Sunday at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, primarily citizens of Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan, infiltrated into Israel across the Egyptian border prior to the construction of the southern border fence in 2012-2013. A large portion of the illegal immigrants have taken up residence in southern Tel Aviv.

While thousands self-deported with the encouragement of the Israeli government, some 35,000 remain in Israel, not including children born to the illegal migrants after their arrival.

The Knesset twice passed laws aimed at forcibly deporting most of the remaining illegal immigrants. The Supreme Court has intervened in both cases, however, striking down the first law in 2017 and freezing implementation of the second in 2018.

In April, the court ordered more than 200 illegal immigrants freed from detention.