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Gantz says will reevaluate soldiers’ drafting into Prisons Service, amid rape claims

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a ceremony in memory of Israeli soldiers who were killed during the First Lebanon War, at the National Hall of Remembrance at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 14, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a ceremony in memory of Israeli soldiers who were killed during the First Lebanon War, at the National Hall of Remembrance at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 14, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says he will reevaluate a years-long agreement allowing soldiers to be drafted to the Israel Prisons Service, following claims made by a former soldier that she was repeatedly raped by a Palestinian security prisoner.

Gantz issues a letter to Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the IPS, demanding conscripted soldiers not be allowed in the same wings as Palestinian terror convicts until the rape allegations are investigated.

“I believe that service which involves dealing with security prisoners requires adequate and comprehensive training, and an in-depth understanding of the workings of the Prisons Service, and therefore it is necessary to consider whether this role should be performed by conscripts in mandatory service,” Gantz says.

“Also, it is necessary to examine under what conditions such service can be implemented, and what are the conditions needed to maintain their safety and physical well-being,” Gantz adds.

There have been multiple reports that female soldiers were “pimped” to a Palestinian security prisoner at Gilboa Prison in years past, and a former soldier in recent days said she was raped by the prisoner on multiple occasions with the knowledge and of her superiors.

Earlier this week, the Ynet news site reported that a prisoner convicted of terrorism, Mahmoud Atallah, was being investigated by police over sexual assault while behind bars.

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