Israel’s relations with the UK were under strain on Thursday after 12 Israeli men were arrested in Cyprus after a British woman alleged that she was gang-raped.
The incident involving the 19-year old woman, who is understood to have needed hospital treatment, occurred at a hotel in the party resort Ayia Napa on Tuesday night. The woman filed a complaint with police on Wednesday morning.
Israeli consular staff confirmed that the men had been arrested and that their families had been contacted. They were due to appear at a remand hearing before a Famagusta district court on Thursday.
“The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossi Wurmbrand, is following developments and is in contact with the detainees,” said an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman. “Their families have been updated.”
Police sources were quoted in other news media on Wednesday as saying that the investigation was in its early stages and it was not yet known how many of men were involved in the alleged incident.
Israeli media reported that one suspect is aged 16, another 17. The Jerusalem Post reported that the group were on holiday ahead of their army service and deny allegations of rape, saying it was “with consent”.
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