Gilboa Prison pimping affair is a ‘red flag,’ ‘requires investigation’ - State Comptroller

Matanyahu Englman made the remarks during a visit to Ariel University. When he was asked by students, he said: "The picture described by the female guards is a red flag."

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englmann attends a press conference to announce the opening of an investigationn into Israel's Mount Meron disaster, at the State Comptroller offices in Jerusalem, May 3, 2021.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
State Comptroller Matanyahu Englmann attends a press conference to announce the opening of an investigationn into Israel's Mount Meron disaster, at the State Comptroller offices in Jerusalem, May 3, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman said on Thursday that the Gilboa Prison “pimping affair” requires an intense investigation.

“We will look into the appointments of female prison guards in the Israel Prison Service,” he said. “What happened in Gilboa Prison is extremely serious.”

Two weeks ago, Gilboa Prison warden Freddy Ben Shitrit alleged that female guards were sent to Palestinian prisoners to satisfy them sexually.

A proposal to discuss the establishment of a state inquiry committee into the Gilboa Prison pimping affair fell 46-41 in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday evening.

Englman made the remarks during a visit to Ariel University in the West Bank on Thursday. When he was asked about the affair by students, he responded, “The picture described by the female guards is a red flag.

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

“In 2020, when I reviewed the effectiveness of the application of the law against sexual assault, we found that out of 153,000 complaints, only 29 actually led to indictments,” he said, according to KAN.

“What happened in Gilboa must get investigated,” he said, adding “It is even more concerning that these attacks were levied against them when they were in mandatory service.”

Englman said he plans to deeply probe the state of soldiers in mandatory service positions across the board “from the perspective of the soldiers themselves.”

Ben Shitrit’s allegations came out during the testimony he gave regarding the escape of six Palestinian prisoners in September. Following Ben Shitrit’s testimony, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev wrote to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit recommending that the case be reopened. The Israel Prison Service followed up with a similar request.

Although the sexual incidents were first reported by Walla journalist Liran Levi in 2018, senior prison staff had not testified about it until last month.

                                                                              Sources close to the matter have suggested the pimping affair damaged the state’s investigation into the prisoner escape because of the criticism directed at the warden, at prison intelligence and at other prison officials.