A Jewish Israeli woman who claimed to have been raped by a Palestinian minor while another man filmed the incident in Tel Aviv has told the police that she lied about the allegations.
The woman, who is mentally challenged, said that she was in a consensual relationship with the minor, and that her family fabricated the rape allegations to put an end to it.
The police asked a Tel Aviv court on Wednesday to release the Palestinian minor, although he is expected to be charged with being in Israel illegally. The public defender’s office is expected to seek the release of the second suspect, saying that if there was no rape, then there was nothing to film. It was initially reported that two men allegedly perpetrated the attack while a third person filmed it.
The two Palestinians, residents of the Nablus area, were arrested last Wednesday. The woman claimed that during the rape, which she said took place on Independence Day, the two also cursed and hurled racist epithets at her, and urinated on her.
The woman changed her account following a court hearing on Monday. The police initially decided not to release the minor while trying to make sure that the woman didn’t withdraw her testimony because she was afraid or exhausted from the questioning.
The case caused controversy over the past week as the police struggled to ascertain whether the alleged attack was politically motivated.
Last Thursday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complicated matters with a Facebook post relating to the incident: “This was a horrific crime that requires wall-to-wall condemnation, but such condemnation hasn’t been heard.
“One can only imagine what would have happened if the situation were reversed,” Netanyahu wrote, implying that if the accused assailants were Jewish and the victim was Arab, the reaction would have been one of greater outrage.
By the next morning, however, the prime minister had developed second thoughts, posting: “The incident as reported caused me deep shock and pain – however, it wasn’t right for me to address the topic until the investigation was complete.”