Two Palestinian Arabs illegally in Israel illegally were arrested on Monday after a Jewish girl from Samaria filed a complaint alleging that the two sexually harassed her. At a court hearing on Tuesday, police requested an extension of their remand.
The incident occurred at Nahal Snir (also known as Hatzbani, a tributary of the Jordan River) in the north of the country, when a group of girls who were swimming on tubes in the river during a trip organized by a youth group from one of the Samarian communities suddenly came under attack by Arabs.
A Samaria resident who was on a trip with his family nearby came to the aid of the girls and drove them to the end of the kayak route, where the girls contacted police and filed a complaint. The girls later identified the attackers and two Arabs were taken into custody.
The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, demanded that the police prosecute the attackers and put an end to the phenomenon of harassment of girls in the northern streams. “I thank the Israeli police for their swift action and arrest of the attackers, and I demand that they be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We should not be tolerating a situation in which young girls go for a trip to the rivers in the north and are exposed to such traumatic experiences.”
Dagan added that, “Unfortunately, we hear that this is a recurring phenomenon, and the Israeli police must put an end to it. In this particular incident, a resident of Samaria showed great resourcefulness and chased after the attackers, enabling their arrest, and we are all very proud of him. I spoke with this hero last night, expressing my admiration and thanking him for his actions. Meanwhile, the social services division of the Regional Council is in contact with the girls and their families, and we will be providing them with whatever they need in order to move forward after this distressing incident.”
A police statement noted: “Israeli police arrested two residents of PA-controlled areas on suspicion of having sexually harassed a girl in the Jordan River. The Israeli police received a complaint that during a trip on the Jordan River, two men sexually harassed two Israeli minors (aged 16 and 17). The incident occurred while the two were on tubes in the Jordan River.
“Police officers from Kiryat Shemoneh arrived at the scene, collected evidence, and identified two suspects (aged 15 and 22), who were both arrested. The two suspects are residents of the Palestinian Authority (from a village near Ramallah), who were staying in Israel illegally. They were questioned and police will request an extension of their remand at Tuesday’s hearing at the Nazareth District Court.”