Israeli Guard Confronts Inmate Accused of Rape, Demands Accountability From Prison Staff

A lawyer for the guard said that she no longer fears the inmate who 'murdered her soul in prison' after confronting him face to face

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Israel's Gilboa Prison, last year
Israel's Gilboa Prison, last year.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The police unit for the investigation of the conduct of prison guards on Sunday confronted a female former prison guard with the prisoner who she said raped her in 2015 in a prison in northern Israel.

The guard demanded that the prisoner reveal who among the prison commanders allowed him to rape her. According to officials involved in the investigation, the prisoner replied that the guard herself had initiated contact with him because she was jealous of his relationship with other female guards, “whom he did touch,” and that he gave in to her demands.

During the confrontation, the guard, Hila (not her real name), said the prisoner had “ruined her life.” According to her lawyer, she accused him of repeated rapes and, with the backing of prison officials, “terrorizing her and warning that her life was in danger.” The lawyer, Keren Barak, said her client “feels strong after the confrontation, that she could finally face the man who raped her and murdered her soul in prison, and she is no longer afraid of him.”

The security prisoner, whose name is under gag order, has been transferred from Gilboa Prison to the isolation wing of Rimonim Prison in central Israel, on the strength of information that other prisoners sought to harm him in connection with the suspicions against him.

The confrontation took place in the police unit that investigates the conduct of prison guards, in Lahav Major Crimes Division 443 headquarters in Lod. Barak said after the session: “It’s sad that only now a woman who was raped while carrying out her duties for the State of Israel faces the system and has to fight for justice.” Barak said the alleged rapist is serving a life sentence for severe offenses against the state, and according to all the prison guards who complained, “he controlled Gilboa Prison high-handedly and unchallenged. This is a dangerous and manipulative man who used a reign of terror against the female prison guards.”

In December 2021, the case was reopened on suspicions that the prisoner had raped the guard during her service in Gilboa Prison in 2015, and committed indecent acts against two other guards. The guard told police that the intelligence officer in the prison at the time, Nissim Finish, had assigned her to the prisoner’s wing at the prisoner’s request.

In June this year the prison guard came to Lahav 443 and testified that the prisoner had raped her twice in an area that is not under camera surveillance and where there are no alarm buttons. The guard said she remembered the rape following psychological treatment. Last month she testified again and said the prisoner had raped her four times, and that her commanding officers had left her alone with him repeatedly. She said the male prison guards would call her the prisoner’s lover.

Since the investigation was renewed, police received two more complaints from female prison guards, who also said they had been assigned to the wing at the prisoner’s request and that he had committed indecent acts against them. Their complaints are expected to be included in another indictment against the prisoner, if the prosecution decides to take the case to court.

Palestinian security prisoners in a number of security wings wrote a letter condemning the accused prisoner. In the letter, which was written by the prisoners’ spokesmen and sent to the Israel Prison Service and the Public Security Ministry, the prisoners wrote: “A prisoner who committed such an offense will be expelled from the [fraternity] of security prisoners because he crossed a red line for us.”

The signatories say the incident “presents a false picture and is being exploited by people seeking to provide a baseless depiction to the public of the situation in the security wings.” They suggested that representatives of the Public Security Ministry conduct their own visits and see for themselves.

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