Suicide at brothel highlights the status of sex workers in Israel

More than 600 people protested in Tel Aviv following the suicide of a woman who lived and worked at a brothel nearby. The woman’s death and the demonstration, a rare sign of support for sex workers, have brought the legally gray area of prostitution in Israel back into the spotlight.

The woman, who has not been officially identified is believed to have been in her 30s and originally from the former Soviet Union. Activists stated that there are more than 200 brothels operating in the city of Tel Aviv alone.

“Selling or purchasing (sex) is legal – well it’s not illegal – but pimping, running or owning a brothel, (or) advertising the sale of sex” is criminal, Michal Leibel, a lawyer and the director of the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution, an Israeli NGO, told The Media Line.


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