Two Israeli troops, who are held under suspicions of raping a female soldier, had their arrests extended on Tuesday, The New Arab reported.
The soldiers, who both served in the elite unit of Shayetet 13 along with their victim, were detained last week following the female soldier’s complaint to the military Criminal Investigation Division.
The victim said that the two soldiers raped her in a military vehicle. The two unidentified suspects, however, deny charges of rape, saying the victim had willingly participated in the acts.
Reports of sexual harassment against women are very common in the Israeli army.
In 1999, sexual harassment reports against women reached an average of one a day. In 1998-99, 55 officers were expelled from the Israeli army while others charged with sexual harassment, while others faced demotion or prison.
The widespread sexual abuse in the military has led the Israeli army being described by the feminist American writer Laura Sjoberg as a “hothouse for exploitive sexual relationships”.
While the army claims that it has since tried to curb sexual harassment, it still remains a problem in Israel. According to reports in 2004, 1 in 5 women soldiers suffered sexual abuse in the Israeli army.