By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com January 06 2014 2:27 PM ET
An Israeli transgender woman was assaulted by a group of masked men in their 20 Saturday morning, reports Israeli news source Haaretz.
The suspects reportedly attacked the woman using pepper spray and a stun gun after leaving a nightclub in southern Tel Aviv early Saturday morning. Following the attack, the men fled the scene in two vehicles, but they were apprehended by police after a short pursuit.
Eleven men have been arrested in connection with the crime, which police say was motivated by boredom and was a “prank,” rather than as a result of homophobia or transphobia, according to Haaretz. According to one local news outlet, Yavniton, between nine and 11 of the suspects are officers in Israel’s Border Police.
Some organizations question the claim that the attack wasn't motivated by antitransgender sentiment. Israel’s National Association of GLBT released a statement Saturday following initial reports, highlighting the increased risk of violence to which transgender people are predisposed.
"This severe assault joins existing data as documented in the report of the Nir Katz Center for Violence, Discrimination, and Homophobia, which reveals that the transgender community is the main target of such violence," reads the statement. "The authorities must treat these assaults as severely as any other hate crime, while schools must incorporate content that educates to tolerance towards the LGBT community."