5 religious girls sue police for allegedly strip-searching them
Chaim Levinson • Ha'aretz
Five young religious women have filed a lawsuit against the Israel Police for allegedly conducting demeaning strip searches on them during their arrest at illegal West Bank outpost.
The five girls, who all attend a religious high school in the West Bank, were arrested two years ago for entering a sealed-off military area during a protest atthe illegal outpost of Givat Or near Beit El.
The girls, who were 14 and 15 years old at the time of their arrest, claimed that police officers threatened them and used force as they led them into detainment.
The girls refused to identify themselves, which the said prompted the officers to threaten them with a strip search.
The plaintiffs met with an attorney at the scene, who advised them that such a search would be illegal. However, the lawsuit filed on Thursday said a strip- search was indeed conducted as soon as their attorney left the police station.
"The plaintiffs suffered severe emotional distress during the incident, just from the thought that a stranger would see their private areas and inspect them," the lawsuit stated.
"They girls felt humiliated, shamed, and demeaned as the search was conducted, sentiments that lingered long after the incident had concluded."
The director of the religious sector's center for sexual assault victims said the girls were subject to "emotional rape."
In response, the police defended its "legal right to conduct a physical search of those arrested. In this case, as in others, the search was conducted according to regulations and while attempting to keep the invasion of the detainees' privacy at a minimum.