Security Prisoners Condemn Palestinian Inmate's Alleged Rape of Israeli Warden

'For many years, female guards have worked in security wings, and we have treated them in accordance with our values,' Palestinian security prisoners from across Israel wrote in an unusual letter addressed to security authorities

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Gilboa Prison in northen Israel, in 2021.
Gilboa Prison in northen Israel, in 2021.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails penned a letter condemning a fellow prisoner who is accused of repeatedly raping a female guard and sexually assaulting several others at a prison in northern Israel in 2015.

In late July, following the partial lifting of a gag order, it was reported that the Gilboa prison’s intelligence officer allegedly assigned female wardens who were doing their compulsory military service with the Israel Prison Service to the wing for prisoners convicted of security offenses, sometimes at the prisoner's request.

The prisoner in question is then said to have sexually assaulted them and to have raped one of the guards on four occasions. He denies any wrongdoing and claims that his contact with the guard was consensual.

According to the letter, drafted by a spokesperson for prisoners in security wings at many Israeli prisons and directed to the Israel Prison Service and Public Security Ministry, the allegations against the prisoner distort the general situation in prisons.

The signatories claim that the incident is being exploited by people seeking to provide a baseless depiction to the public of the situation in the security wings, and they suggest that prison authorities conduct their own visits and see for themselves.

“Every corner and every wing and corridor [of the security wings] is under closed-circuit camera surveillance, and we are therefore surprised by what we have heard regarding the case at Gilboa Prison,” the letter states.

“For many years, female guards have worked in security wings, and we have treated them in accordance with our values. This case is an exception and is not representative,” the letter states, adding that the security prisoners disassociate themselves from a prisoner who would commit such an act.

Security prisoners in Israel are people detained for ideologically-motivated crimes or crimes that harm national security and are often Palestinian.

The signatories also stated that they prefer that female guards not work in security wings and requested that specific procedures be developed to prevent what it described as “direct friction” between a male prisoner and female prison guards.

The alleged rapist, whose name is the subject of a gag order, is currently housed in a separate wing at the Rimon Prison following intelligence that other prisoners intended to harm him over the case.

The investigation of the case is ongoing, and the alleged victim is set to present her allegations before him at a meeting next week, as wider efforts continue to collect evidence on the case.

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