Ynet and Yediot Aharonot reported that they have learned about a number of meetings between Shin Bet operatives and jailed terrorist Mahmoud Atallah over the past two years. During one such instance, Atallah reportedly asked officers to help him alter sections of the indictment against him from rape - which would have been viewed as a stain to the prison's reputation - to violent crimes.
It also appears that the security establishment had knowledge of the assaults in Gilboa prison and that the terrorist did not deny these when questioned on the topic in one of the meetings. The officer allegedly went so far as to record Atallah's testimony in an official affidavit.
Shin Bet officials present at the meetings are said to have recorded testimony from Attalah but reportedly omitted information about sexual assaults in their reports.
The Shin Bet vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing, however. "The issue was brought up with Shin Bet employees who were present at the meetings, from which it emerged that they do not and never have possessed any information concerning suspicions of sexual assaults attributed to the prisoner, beyond the information that was available to the authorities at the time," they were quoted as saying.
Contrary to what was claimed, they emphasized that the terrorist did not provide any information concerning the matter. When the prisoner requested assistance from the Shin Bet in criminal matters, it was immediately made clear to him that the officers would not [tamper] with the evidence against him.
On Monday, yet another former female prisoner warden came forward with allegations of severe abuse during her mandatory service in the maximum-security prison.
The young woman revealed details of what happened some five years ago to Yediot Aharonot, describing how "the inmates ran the prison."
"I was assigned to one particular security prisoner who needed to be monitored," she said. "I was in complete 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 commander as well as the relevant authorities."
Apparently, that did not happen. "They told me that the officer in charge of intelligence wanted me transferred 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 whom I could rely on, telling him about the attack. 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 terrorists ran everything. And they didn't do anything to the prisoner who assaulted me. They didn't even place him in solitary confinement."
Prisons Service issued a response. "This relates to an incident that occurred several years ago in the Gilboa prison and is currently under investigation. Today's Prisons Service policies include zero tolerance regarding sexual assault, and we will be taking appropriate action once the investigation is completed," they insisted.