Mandatory IDF service positions in prison terror wings canceled - Ben-Gvir

Ben-Gvir's decision comes against the background of several serious incidents of injuries to soldiers in the Israeli prison system and the Gilboa pimping affair.

 View of a drill for prison guards at the Israeli Prison Authorities, Gilboa Prison, near Israel Valley. December 5, 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
View of a drill for prison guards at the Israeli Prison Authorities, Gilboa Prison, near Israel Valley. December 5, 2022.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) on Wednesday evening ordered the Israeli Prison Service to remove IDF soldiers doing mandatory service as prison guards from the terrorist wings in the prisons.

The move, which was put into the works by the previous government, comes against the background of several serious incidents of injuries to soldiers in the Israeli prison system, culminating in the Gilboa Prison pimping affair.

The minister ordered that the soldiers be replaced by veteran and experienced prison guards. He also instructed the Prison Service to prepare for the change within six months.

This doesn't mean that female soldiers will be removed from prisons altogether as soldiers doing mandatory service will continue to serve in prisons, but they will now be stationed securing the prisons in the second security ring rather than alongside those imprisoned for terrorism.

The Gilboa prison pimping affair 

In December 2021, a fourth female prison guard testified that she was sexually assaulted by Fatah prisoner Muhammad 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.

 GILBOA PRISON warden Freddy Ben-Sheetrit prepares to testify, in Modi’in, November 25. (credit: FLASH90) GILBOA PRISON warden Freddy Ben-Sheetrit prepares to testify, in Modi’in, November 25. (credit: FLASH90)

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 statement in testimony by prison warden Freddy Ben Sheetrit during a hearing about the escape of six Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa in September 2021 which reopened the case.