Photo Credit: Sand Box
New IPS Acting Commissioner Ya’acov (Kobi) Ya’akobi, May 16, 2023.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s former security adviser and the new Acting Prisons Service Commissioner Ya’akov (Kobi) Ya’akobi, 51, is working on behalf of the minister to make prison conditions of security prisoners worse, even though their conditions have already been worsened significantly since the outbreak of the war.

Ya’akobi told his top brass at a meeting on Wednesday that he plans to fully implement the recommendations of the secret 2022 Ka’atabi report that exposed the luxurious life in Israeli security prisons of terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. The report revealed that the terrorists were left to their own devices in prison, conducting a “state within a state,” with benign neglect on the part of the wardens, for the sake of industrial peace.


The changes introduced by the new commissioner include jailing members of different terror groups in the same cell, and eliminating the role of the spokesman for the prisoners. There will also be a special ward for arch-terrorists as well as heads of crime families.

Speaking of a talk with the brass, Ya’akobi is introducing mandatory polygraph tests for prison officers in sensitive roles. This will require special Knesset legislation, but it appears crucial to prevent new cases of wardens using female guards as sexual fodder for the prisoners (Gilboa Prison Guard: Terrorist Prisoner Raped Me).

“The IPS has gone through difficult upheavals in recent times,” the new Acting Commissioner told his top officers, and started listing: The escape of the security prisoners from the Gilboa prison, the re-opening of the case of the female guards, additional and difficult events that were discovered in the Ramon prison and other facilities – all of these oblige us to do an in-depth and uncompromising examination.”

“I don’t want to paint a negative and black picture of this organization, but I do not intend to close my eyes,” Ya’akobi continued. “This is the challenge for all of us. As mentioned, we must not dismiss these cases as local problems, and many of the issues that have come up and those that will come up are partly derived from the events and lessons of the past.”

Incidentally, Ya’acobi’s first act in office took place before he took office: on Wednesday morning, he fired the IPS spokesperson, replacing him with Superintendent Zivan Freidin from the Israel Police.

Katy Perry, the former IPS chief, announced last July that she would resign in January 2024, at the end of her term. Last December, Ben Gvir announced that he would not extend her contract even though the country was at war. Perry described the decision as an “unsurprising decision by an irresponsible minister.”

Ah, well.

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