Prison officer who placed female officers in pimping affair fired

Prison Intelligence Officer Rani Basha was the man who placed female prison guards in the security wing at the demand of Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Atallah.

 GILBOA PRISON, in northern Israel near the West Bank.  (photo credit: FLASH90)
GILBOA PRISON, in northern Israel near the West Bank.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev signed on Tuesday an order to fire Prison Intelligence Officer Rani Basha for his role in the Gilboa Prison pimping affair, Ynet reported. 

Basha reportedly admitted under police investigation that he specifically placed female security guards in the security wing, moving them from the criminal wing, following the demands of Fatah prisoner Muhammad Atallah. 

Atallah sexually assaulted four female guards before the affair came to light. 

The call to fire him came from a recommendation by Israel Prison Service (IPS) Commissioner Katy Perry.

What was the Gilboa pimping affair?

Basha was already named in the case in 2018, but it was closed due to a lack of evidence. When State Attorney Amit Isman reopened the case last year, he was questioned anew. 

 Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev at the Knesset, May 31, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev at the Knesset, May 31, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

In December, the fourth female prison guard in a row testified that she was sexually assaulted by Atallah and that her commanders knew about the harassment and did nothing. She added in her testimony that he allegedly gave Atallah her phone number after she finished her service in the prison.

After she left service, he called her personal phone, saying he missed her and that he knew where she lived, she said. 

The case of the pimping affair, which was closed in 2018, was reopened thanks to an unexpected line in a testimony by prison warden Freddy Ben Sheetrit during a hearing about the escape of six Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa in September. That is what kickstarted the reopening of the case.