An officer in the Prisons' Service has been arrested on suspicion that he smuggled cell phones into a jail for the use of terrorist prisoners and was remanded into custody by the Magistrates Court in Petach Tikva.
The officer is a resident of the Druze village of Yarka in the western Galilee, not far from Akko. He was arrested on the basis of information that was transferred from the Prisons Service to the police and is suspected of taking bribes, conspiracy to commit a crime and breach of trust.
Cell phones are not allowed into the prisons that hold terrorist prisoners, unless special permission is granted, and phone calls that the terrorists are allowed to hold with their relatives are closely monitored. Terrorists have been known to coordinate attacks from their jail cells.
Israeli nationalists have demanded that the comfortable conditions of terror prisoners be worsened as a means of pressuring Hamas to give up captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Terror prisoners are allowed to watch satellite TV and complete university studies, among other perks. The Prison's Service has hinted that it is loath to worsen the prisoners' conditions for fear of facing a large scale confrontation that the political and legal echelons may disfavor.
The Druze are a largely loyal minority in Israel, many of whom serve in combat roles. In recent years, however, there have been several cases in which Druze members of the security forces were found guilty of aiding the enemy.