An illegal African migrant who broke into a Tel Aviv home early Wednesday morning had an unpleasant surprise when he learned – the hard way – that the resident is a martial arts enthusiast.
Police say that the intruder entered via the kitchen window at 5:30am and after stealing some of the family’s belongings, he proceeded to the 8-year-old daughter’s bedroom and approached her bed. The girl’s cries wakened her mother who after entering her room was stabbed by the intruder, sustaining light injuries.
The father, a martial arts enthusiast, woke from the commotion. He overpowered the unwelcome visitor, beat him unconscious and then tied him up with a telephone cord until police arrived on the scene. The intruder was wounded seriously enough to have required a visit to the hospital before making his way to court for his remand hearing later in the day on charges of rape, assault and battery, breaking and entering, and theft, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to Ynet, Israeli police are investigating if the intruder attempted to sexually assault the child.
The Tel Aviv martial arts enthusiast who stopped the intruder from attacking his wife and daughter speaks to investigators. Authorities have asked the media not to identify him (Screenshot from Walla)
The father spoke to reporters outside his home, saying: “I awoke to screams and saw my wife attacked and bleeding and an attacker who I don't know. I jumped on him and I began to struggle with him to neutralize him and then I tied him up and called for help.”
Israeli media were asked not to report the names or images of the family members, because the sexual assault of a minor was still being investigated.
Chief Superintendent Alon Magen said "…the suspect went in with the intention of stealing. He entered the children’s bedroom and there broke out a struggle between him and the mother, which the father joined later, hitting him and succeeding in overpowering him."
The suspect is a 22-year-old homeless and unemployed Sudanese man who is believed to have crossed the border into Israel illegally. An estimated 60,000 African migrants have made their way to Israel via Egypt in search of a higher standard of living. Advocates for the illegal migrants say that many are seeking political asylum, a claim right-wing members of Knesset say is not true.
The Jerusalem Post quotes Tel Aviv Police statistics from last month which showed “a sharp rise in crime among the African migrant population in the district, home to the majority of the more than 60,000 migrants.”
Residents of south Tel Aviv, where the majority of the African migrants live, are fed up with what they believe to be a deteriorating security situation.
Talia Mizrachi lives next door to the home that was broken into and has two children. She tells the Jerusalem Post, “We had robberies in the past, but nothing like what we are dealing with today. These are people with nothing to lose, it's scary to be here now.”
Member of Knesset Ayelet Shaked of the right-wing Jewish Home party would like the migrants to be deported back to their home countries. She was quoted by the Times of Israel saying:
“The life of southern Tel Aviv residents has for some time been full of anarchy” because of the concentration of African migrants in the area. “Attempts to delay solutions to the problem through legal means only exacerbates the problem and leads to serious events, like what happened tonight.”
“The State of Israel must not delay in finding a solution to the infiltrators problem, either by deporting them to a third country or their country of origin,” Shaked added. “There is no other way.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said, "The incident that happened in south Tel Aviv is shocking and is something that we have warned about many times.”
"The burden of the infiltrators has fallen on the residents of south Tel Aviv - they are the ones who suffer and their distress is understandable. They are forced to carry the absorption of large numbers of migrants alone. We must return the feeling of security to the residents of south Tel Aviv," he added.