A group of teenagers in central Israel allegedly gang-raped a 12-year-old girl on several occasions while filming some of the horrible acts, it has emerged.
The Israeli police in Tel Aviv have arrested 13 boys - mostly aged around 14 – who are suspected to be part of the gang.
More arrests are expected in the near future as investigators are determined to solve the "horrendous puzzle" in the sexual assault.
At least on one occasion, the group of boys filmed the gang-rape which is believed to have taken place on their school grounds.
A local source, who is involved in the probe, told Ynet News that the teenagers threatened the girl that they would "gossip about her" if she told anyone about the incident.
"They [perpetrators] did not know she was younger than them because she is taller and psychically larger. They are good kids and in this case it would be best to let them go (instead of extending their remand). They are young; a prolonged detention could cause long term damage. They can be interrogated without being remanded. They are 13 and 14, we do not want them to turn to crime," said Gadi Zilbershlag, one of the lawyers representing two boys of the gang.
The police had arrested six boys during the initial investigation while eight others were picked up later. One of them was released after it emerged he was innocent.
The education ministry said: "The ministry views this event with the utmost severity and has contacted the police to learn the full extent of what happened. Educational teams are currently examining the damage sustained to those involved as well as their schoolmates to formulate intervention plans at a personal, class and school-wide level."