Ben Johnson


Teen rescued from basement captivity before forced abortion in Israel

Ben Johnson

SHFARAM, ISRAEL, May 7, 2012, ( – An 18-year-old Arab girl has reportedly been freed after her boyfriend and two accomplices imprisoned her in a basement until she would agree to have an abortion, Israeli police say.

The teenage Bedouin girl moved from an Arab village in the south of Israel to live with an associate of her Israeli boyfriend in the town of Shfaram a month ago. One week ago, she told her boyfriend she was pregnant.

Police chief Rami Naimark said her lover and two men held her captive in a windowless cellar and threatened to abort her baby themselves if she would not “voluntarily” go to an abortion clinic.

The teen managed to get a cellphone away from one of her captors without his noticing when he came to bring her food. She called police in Beersheba, who forwarded the call to authorities in Shfaram. Local police instructed the man to drop the girl off at an intersection in town, where he was arrested.

A total of three men in their 20s, one of whom owned the building where she was being kept, were arrested by early Monday. All three have criminal records. 

Police told Israel’s Ynet news, “The three suspects used violence against the girl and conspired to commit a crime.”

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Her boyfriend says he has not had any contact with her.

A court ordered the three men held in custody, and a gag order has been placed on the case.

The victim was transferred to a women’s shelter, then released on Monday. Local agencies will continue to care for her.

An estimated 160,000 Bedouins live in Israel, many in “unrecognized” shanty towns.