IPS guard removed from position after filing harassment complaint against officer

A prison guard was reportedly removed from his position against his will after filing a sexual harassment complaint against his commanding officer, who was later promoted to a higher position.

 THIRD WORLD and First World Israel: Police officers and prison guards mill around the scene of the prison escape at Gilboa Prison this month. (photo credit: FLASH 90)
THIRD WORLD and First World Israel: Police officers and prison guards mill around the scene of the prison escape at Gilboa Prison this month.
(photo credit: FLASH 90)

A prison guard serving in the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) was transferred to a different location against his will after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a senior officer, KAN News reported on Sunday evening.

According to the report, the soldier filed a complaint against his senior officer and, in a violation of procedure, the complaint was forwarded to the prison commander, bypassing the proper channels. The commander then attempted to set up a conciliatory meeting between the accused officer and the guard who accused him, contrary to all procedures and rules.

Following this, the guard was removed from the prison and relocated against his will, before eventually being released from the IPS altogether. The officer, however, was promoted to a higher position.

According to KAN, the guard reported the commanders involved in the affair to the Admissibility Commission of Police and Prison Guards, who reviewed the incident and accepted his testimony, saying: "Our investigation revealed that the handling of your complaint was not conducted as required. We recommend that the relevant IPS officials refine their guidelines for commanders on this issue, to prevent the recurrence of such cases."

In response, the IPS called the incident a "misunderstanding" and said that "the transfer of the prison guard to another unit is not related to the incident in question."

 Gilboa prison commander, Gondar Deputy Chief Freddy Ben Sheetrit arrives for his testimony at the government inspection committee for the incident of the escape of the security prisoners from the Gilboa prison, in Modi'in, November 24, 2021. (credit: FLASH90) Gilboa prison commander, Gondar Deputy Chief Freddy Ben Sheetrit arrives for his testimony at the government inspection committee for the incident of the escape of the security prisoners from the Gilboa prison, in Modi'in, November 24, 2021. (credit: FLASH90)

The Israeli Prison Service has been under increased scrutiny in recent days, with old allegations – of female prison guards being pimped out to prisoners against their will in exchange for intelligence information – coming to light again as a result of prison warden Freddy Ben-Sheetrit testifying under oath that the incident took place.

The alleged incident in question took place between 2017 and 2018, and involved at least four female prison guards alleging that they had been given to prisoners in the Gilboa Prison security wing. During this time, prison officers allegedly knowingly stationed the girls in the security wing, allowing prisoners to use them to satisfy their sexual needs in exchange for intelligence information.