April 28, 2005 - Israel
Two teenage sisters who were discovered to be working as prostitutes, have been taken away from their mother's home and sent to welfare institutions. Social workers arrived Wednesday at the girls' home and took them. One sister was placed in a hostel for girls in distress and the other was sent to a closed institution for girls where they will undergo examination.
The family are new immigrants from the former Soviet Union who have serious economic woes. The mother, a single parent, has another child. It has not yet been decided whether he can remain with her.
The police are continuing their investigation into the case which involves the 13- and 14-year-old sisters and further arrests are expected. The mother was arrested on Tuesday, after a month's investigation into the affair, and released to house arrest. Police are looking for another relative who, they believe, took the girls' earnings. Welfare services in the Negev town where the girls lived, say they reported to police that the two were seen offering their services in the marketplace.
A 20-year-old man from the Bedouin town of Laqiya was also put under house arrest Wednesday by a Be'er Sheva magistrate on suspicion of having sex with one of the girls.
Police received a tip-off from a resident of the town who said she had seen one sister having oral sex with a man near the market, and then passing money on to an older woman. Police then kept a watch on the market and public parks and discovered that the two had been offering their services for about a year. They charged a time, and handed the money to their mother and a relative. According to unconfirmed reports, other teenagers in the town had also been involved in prostitution. Residents of the town said that the customers tended to come from neighboring communities.