Lap dances on the way to becoming criminal offense

The State Attorney‘s office, along with Israeli police, decided on Wednesday to take severe measures against the practice of lap dances in strip clubs.

The new enforcement intends to eradicate "the activity that in certain circumstances constitutes prostitution,” according to the Deputy State Attorney.

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“As such, continued practice of ‘lap dances’ shall be considered a criminal offense against which extensive measures can be taken, including against owners of such establishments.”

The police issued a written notice to owners of strip clubs clarifying the new policies and warning against police actions.

Attorney Nitzan Kahana of the Task Force on Human Trafficking commended the move and made a point to thank Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) for promoting the change.

“The treatment to root out prostitution in Israel has begun," said Kahana. "Strip clubs are a major part of this industry, not only because of ‘back rooms’ where women are abused for a full sexual act, but also due to the lap dances, posing for years as ‘an innocent dance’ when it is apparent to all that they are essentially a sexual act of physical intending to please customers.”

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz), another , praised the police decision. She called for the government to approve the law "and turn the policy into a clear-cut legal norm in Israel.”

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Similar bills were proposed over recent years battling exploitation of women for sexual acts. The ministry recently approved a bill to .

Earlier this week, an extensive prostitution infrastructure was uncovered in Israel, involving a woman from Jerusalem and her husband, who allegedly tricked dozens of women, mostly from eastern Europe, to come to Israel for their illegal brothels. They are currently under arrest and will be charged for exploitation and human trafficking, among other accusations.

Maariv Online contributed to this report.

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