Israel’s thriving sex industry records one billion dollars a year

Published December 9th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Israel’s sex business is booming. The one billion dollar industry is fueled by an annual inflow of 3,000 foreign women, smuggled into the country by sex traffickers and enslaved at one of Tel Aviv’s 250 brothels, reveals a Parliamentary (Knesset) report released Monday, December 9. 


The women, mostly Eastern European in origin, are often promised legitimate jobs. Once they arrive in "The Promised Land," they find themselves “priced” at $3,000 to $6,000 and put to work as prostitutes.  


With as many as 400 brothels operating throughout the country, the women are employed 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week, serving up to 15 clients per day, according to data gathered by the parliamentary committee. 


Exploitation of sex workers continues as they have to buy back their freedom from their pimps, who rob them of up to 80 percent of their pay, averaging 120-150 new Israeli shekels ($25-32) per client.  


The local justice system has so far failed to take adequate measures to prevent and punish the women traffickers, and Israel has been blacklisted by the US since July 2001 among the countries who fail to meet the minimum criteria for dealing with human trafficking. 


Threatened with economic sanctions, the Israeli parliament formed the committee, which drafted two bills, one banning trafficking in human beings and setting a minimum sentence of four years for the crime, the other establishing a government authority to fight the problem. — ( 

© 2002 Mena Report (

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