Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent a letter Monday evening to Public Security Minister Omer Barlev Monday evening demanding that conscripted IDF soldiers not be allowed to serve in the same wings as convicted terrorists following claims that female soldiers have been raped and abused by security prisoners.
“I believe that service which involves dealing with security prisoners requires adequate and comprehensive training, and an in-depth understanding of the workings of the Prisons Service, and therefore it is necessary to consider whether this role should be performed by conscripts in mandatory service,” Gantz wrote. "Also, it must be examined under what conditions such a service can be carried out, and what are the conditions to maintain their safety and physical well-being."
"On the basis of the above, I would ask you to immediately prohibit the conscripts in the prison service from staying with security prisoners until a comprehensive and thorough investigation of the issue is carried out. Also, I intend to re-examine the continued allocation of conscripts to the prison service, given that their job is to deal with directly with security prisoners.
"We are committed to acting together and doing everything possible to ensure the personal safety of all conscripts, wherever they are. Accordingly, I instructed the professional officials in the Ministry of Defense and the IDF to examine, together with the officials of the Ministry of Public Security, the decree allowing the assignment of conscripts to the IPS,'' said Benny Gantz.
Yet another former female prisoner warden came forward with allegations of severe abuse during her mandatory service in the maximum-security Gilboa prison.
The young woman revealed details of what happened some five years ago to Yediot Aharonot, describing how "the prisoners ran the prison."
"I was assigned to one particular security prisoner who needed to be monitored," she said. "I was totally in shock at what he did [to me]. I went to my commanding officer and submitted a complaint, and they were supposed to transfer it to the prison overseer and to the relevant authorities."
Apparently, that did not happen. "They told me that the officer in charge of intelligence wanted me to go to a different wing of the prison and speak with a security prisoner being held there, someone who had a prominent status in that prison. He was going to sort out my 'case.' I went there, and the prisoner told me, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of you, and no one is going to do anything to you again.'"
The girl described how she "cried, and then called a different warden who I could rely on and told him what had happened. I was looking for someone to calm me down, after the prison authorities turned a deaf ear to my distress. I felt like every time I went into that wing of the prison, that security prisoner was watching me. The security prisoners there ran everything. And they didn't do anything to the prisoner who assaulted me. They didn't even put him in solitary."