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IPS district official rejects responsibiliy for Gilboa breakout, blames prison chief

Illustrative: A police officer keeps watch from an observation tower at the Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on September 6, 2021. (JALAA MAREY / AFP)
Illustrative: A police officer keeps watch from an observation tower at the Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on September 6, 2021. (JALAA MAREY / AFP)

Israel Prisons Service Northern District Commander Arik Yaakov pins the blame for the breakout at Gilboa Prison last year on the prison commander, Freddy Ben Shitrit.

Yaakov, who is himself facing potential trouble over the scandal, tells the commission of inquiry into the escape that Ben Shitrit “failed at everything.”

“It’s not an accident that it happened there,” Yaakov says. But he argues this does not reflect on the district as a whole and refuses to accept part of the blame. He says he thought at the time that Ben Shitrit was a good commander, but has since come to believe that he lied to him.

He asserts that Ben Shitrit “managed to mislead the entire IPS command structure.”

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