בית כלא גלבוע
The maximum-security Gilboa prison
Photo: AP
Former IDF soldier claims she was raped during military service as guard in Gilboa prison

Former Israeli prison guard claims was raped by Palestinian inmate

Hila (alias) alleges prison authorities tried to silence her after commanders 'handed me over to that terrorist and made sure I was left alone with him'

Liran Levi |
Published: 07.28.22, 16:04
A former IDF soldier, who served as a guard at the high-security Gilboa Prison in northern Israel, alleged on Thursday she was raped by a convicted Palestinian terrorist jailed there.
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  • The woman claims prison authorities had silenced her. She launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for herself and other female guards who were abused by Palestinian inmates.
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    הילה (שם בדוי)
    הילה (שם בדוי)
    Former IDF soldier claims she was raped during military service as guard in Gilboa prison
    (Photo: Nadav Eves)
    "Since the rape, my life has been hell. My commanders tried to silence me," the description of her campaign page read. "Help me in my struggle to uncover the truth."
    The woman accused Mahmoud Atallah — a Palestinian terrorist convicted for the murder of Israelis — of raping her and said he had enjoyed special privileges from prison authorities, who allowed him to roam around freely inside the facility and were quick to fill any of his requests and demands.
    On the dedicated website, Hila (alias) wrote: "My commanders, members of my staff, who I thought were supposed to be watching over me, delivered me to the hands of that terrorist. They made sure I would be alone with him, going against standard protocol, so that he would be able to brutally assault me and sexually abuse me over and over again, and not just me, other female soldiers were abused as well."
    "He could have killed me, or taken me hostage, it was just the two of us, alone, he was uncuffed, there were no bars between us. He is a convicted murderer and a terrorist. What were they thinking? That he would just abuse me? Is that normal? That an IDF soldier is sacrificed for information? Peace? Or money? I can't even imagine what he could have given them in exchange for a soldier's body."
    4 View gallery
    בית כלא גלבוע
    בית כלא גלבוע
    The maximum-security Gilboa Prison
    (Photo: AP)
    "Since the events in Gilboa Prison became public knowledge, my horrible story was hidden from you, hidden from everyone, maybe they hoped I would take this secret with me to the grave. Maybe they thought I'd kill myself or run away and hide and continue to be ashamed. But not anymore! I'm done being quiet, I'm done being ashamed, I'm not guilty! The State of Israel is guilty," the woman wrote.
    Gilboa Prison came under heavy scrutiny after six convicted Palestinian terrorists escaped last year. The consequent investigation of the prison break found severe malpractice by prison commanders which included violation of security protocols and inappropriate treatment of female soldiers who were subject to sexual abuse by inmates.
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    חיילים ישראלים מתאספים סמוך לג'נין בחיפושים אחרי האסירים
    חיילים ישראלים מתאספים סמוך לג'נין בחיפושים אחרי האסירים
    Troops search for Palestinian jailbreakers after last year's Gilboa Prison escape
    (Photo: EPA)
    All six escapees were captured after extensive searches and returned to prison at the end of a massive-scale manhunt.
    "The shame is on anyone hiding and covering up this incident," the former soldier said. "I won't be silenced anymore. I want to get answers from my country. My beloved State of Israel (Yes, I am still a Zionist, still love my country with all my heart), explain to me how and why this happened to me. I demand that an independent inquiry will be established."
    According to the crowdfunding page, the soldier, who served as a guard between 2014-2017, was brutally and sexually assaulted by a "terrorist with blood on his hands" with her commanders being fully aware of that.
    "This is a serious and unusual case. The goal is to raise NIS 200,000 to help her with her emotional distress and provide legal representation," the description further reads.
    "This is the most shocking case of sexual assault of an IDF soldier by a terrorist with blood on his hands since the inception of Israel," the former guard's attorney Keren Barak said.
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    חברי ועדת הבדיקה הממשלתית לבריחת האסירים מכלא גלבוע
    חברי ועדת הבדיקה הממשלתית לבריחת האסירים מכלא גלבוע
    Panel probing Gilboa prisoner escape and misconduct allegations by prison authorities
    (Photo: Yuval Chen)
    "I call on every Israeli citizen to help us raise money to rehabilitate her life and help her continue and live a normal life. This is a woman who enlisted in the IDF and asked to serve in a sensitive security role out of Zionism and love for her nation, we must not desert her again," Barak said.
    A state commission of inquiry is currently probing the failings of Gilboa Prison authorities that enabled the escape of the inmates, as well as other misconduct allegations.
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