Thousands of Israelis strike to protest violence against women in wake of alleged gang rape of 16-year-old


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Israelis walked off their jobs at noon on Sunday to protest violence against women, as seven more suspects were arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at a hotel in Eilat.

Now a total of 11 suspects, all but two of them minors, have been arrested in the case. More arrests are expected, Israel’s Channel 12 reported. As many as 30 are believed to be involved in the assault.

The protesters Sunday included staff of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a nonprofit that facilitates immigration to Israel and promotes Israel-Diaspora ties.

“We are here to put an end to violence. I turn to all men in our society — stop violence against women!” Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said in a statement.

Protests are expected to continue Sunday night, the Times of Israel reported.

The manager of Eilat’s Red Sea Hotel, where the alleged rape took place, was detained on Sunday for questioning by police on suspicion of failing to prevent a crime and interfering in a police investigation. A special task force has been set up to investigate the case, Ynet reported.

A senior official involved in the investigation told Israel’s Channel 12 on Thursday that some of the men involved in the alleged incident made recordings of the activity in the hotel room on their cellphones. Police reportedly also have taken possession of security camera footage from the hotel.

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