Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev (Labor) on Sunday morning told Reshet Bet radio he did not understand why the court imposed a gag order on the story of a female prison guard who served in Gilboa prison as an IDF soldier and last Thursday claimed that she had been raped repeatedly by a security prisoner during her service there (Gilboa Prison Guard: Terrorist Prisoner Raped Me).
“A police investigation is underway, but I don’t understand why there is a gag order,” Minister Barlev said. “In this case, there’s no place for this order. It’s important that all the citizens of the country, and certainly parents and families whose children serve in the Prison Service, know what’s happening, and what the investigation is bringing up.”
However, Barlev said that at this stage there’s no point in establishing a commission of inquiry into the matter, because “as soon as there’s a police investigation, then even if an investigation or inspection committee is established, it would be prevented from dealing with issues covered under the police investigation. We can establish a committee, but it won’t be effective regarding these shocking events, so the police investigation should be allowed to proceed.”
In a crowdfunding page that was launched for her on the Beactive website, the prison guard, who was an enlisted IDF soldier, pseudonym Yael, wrote: “Unfortunately for me, of all the prisons, I was placed in Gilboa prison. I discovered to my astonishment that there was one ‘commander,’ a Palestinian terrorist with blood on his hands, who controlled all the officers and staff who obeyed him and carried out his ‘orders’ without any argument. He walked freely around the prison when he was not handcuffed, and sent his dirty hands and touched the bodies of female soldiers without anyone’s intervention. Everyone knew. Everyone was silent. Everyone was afraid. Everyone ‘worked’ for him.”
She reiterated those accusations in an interview with Ma’ariv on Friday (סוהרת טוענת שנאנסה ע”י אסיר ביטחוני בכלא גלבוע): “And now I will tell you the worst thing of all. Get ready because it is more shocking than what I have told you so far. My commanders and members of my staff, whom I thought were supposed to protect me, delivered me into the hands of that terrorist. They made sure that I was left alone with him, contrary to the clear procedures, so that he could brutally hurt me and sexually abuse me again and again, and not only me, but also many other female prison guards.”
According to her, the security prisoner “could have murdered me, or taken me hostage, just the two of us, alone, without handcuffs and bars, and he is a convicted murderer! A terrorist. What were they thinking? that he would ‘only’ enjoy me? That it’s ok? That it’s permissible to sacrifice an IDF female soldier for information? For quiet? For money? I can’t even imagine what kind of return you can get on the body of a female soldier.”
She demanded “an independent commission of inquiry.” Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Israel Beitenu) joined her demand, tweeting on Friday: “This morning I spoke with the Prime Minister and asked for the establishment of an external committee headed by a retired judge as soon as possible for a thorough, in-depth, and reliable examination of the entire issue of the suspected rape of the female soldier by a security prisoner in Gilboa prison.”
Omer Barlev is determined not to let such a committee happen.