State Comptroller: female soldier testified were sexually assaulted by terrorists

Matanyahu Englman warns IDF that female soldiers mustn't guard Hamas terrorists who took part in the massacre, and must be kept safe; military says two known incidents were handled as soon as were reported

Tova Zimuki|
Israel's State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman urged the military and Defense Ministry on Tuesday not to put female IDF soldiers at unnecessary risk, guarding captured Hamas terrorists who took part in the October 7 attack including the terror group's Nukhba forces.
According to 2022 data reviewed by the State Comptroller's Office among female soldiers serving in mandatory service assigned to guard the terrorists, "about 38% of them reported some form of sexual assault. We can't accept the fact that terrorists who were involved in the October 7 atrocities will continue to harm Israeli soldiers."
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מתניהו אנגלמן
מתניהו אנגלמן
State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman
(Photo: Morag Bitan)
In a conference held in Eilat, Engelman said that he had seen reports "indicating that the IDF stationed female soldiers in officer training to guard terrorists." According to him, "This contradicts the report on female soldiers' safety that we published over a year ago, showing nothing was done to treat the report's conclusions."
Engelman noted the November 2022 report revealed disturbing incidents of sexual harassment by convicted terrorists toward female soldiers serving in prisons. "There was a lack of support from the higher command for female soldiers working with those inmates. After audit teams met with female soldiers who served in all prisons where these prisoners are held, surveys found that 38% of the female troops experienced one or more forms of sexual harassment."
Engelman noted that Israel's decision to station female soldiers to guard terrorists who were involved in sexual crimes on October 7 is unacceptable, especially seeing as many similar incidents took place in years prior after terrorists were captured and served their sentence in Israeli prisons. "If we add the testimonies to those we've heard recently from female soldiers who experienced sexual harassment, we could see the writing is on the wall," he said.
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משטרת ישראל קלטה מחבלי נוחבה מתחילת מלחמת חרבות ברזל
משטרת ישראל קלטה מחבלי נוחבה מתחילת מלחמת חרבות ברזל
Hamas's Nukhba terrorists captured after October 7
(Photo: Israel Prison Service)
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded to the State Comptroller's words, saying, "The IDF uses all means to ensure the security and well-being of its servicemen. Commanders are responsible for enforcing regulations and conditions in military detention facilities. The IDF acknowledges two unusual incidents in one detention facility, which were immediately addressed. Detention of prisoners in military facilities is temporary.”
National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir also issued a statement on Engelman's remarks, saying, "The State Comptroller's words prove that the decision I made upon entering office to remove female soldiers from serving in terrorists' wards was a correct decision. I urge the Defense Minister and the IDF chief of staff, who are responsible for female soldiers, to stop this process."
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