Female Israeli prison guard says she was raped by ‘Palestinian terrorist’

A female Israeli prison guard said she was raped by a ‘Palestinian terrorist’ after her superiors arranged for him to be alone and sexually abuse her.

The guard is one of at least five to allege she was abused by prisoner Muhammad Atallah at Gilboa Prison in northern Israel, who is reportedly on trial for sexual assault.

Hila, not her real name, said she was abused ‘over and over’ during her time as a guard from 2014 to 2017 by the alleged Palestinian terrorist who ‘controlled officers’ and was able to walk ‘freely around the prison when he was not handcuffed and touched the bodies of female soldiers without hindrance’.

She has asked for donations online to fund her ‘rent, travel, medication and treatment’ as well as her ‘public struggle bringing to justice those involved’ after her experience.

Hila said: ‘Everyone knew. Everyone was silent. Everyone was afraid.

‘At the beginning of my service, one day he saw me around the prison. He said: “You are coming to work in my wing!”

‘I thought to myself, “strange man”, but I found out that I was stationed in his wing and that was it.

The guard is one of at least five to allege she was abused by prisoner Muhammad Atallah at Gilboa Prison (pictured) in northern Israel, who is reportedly on trial for sexual assault

The guard is one of at least five to allege she was abused by prisoner Muhammad Atallah at Gilboa Prison (pictured) in northern Israel, who is reportedly on trial for sexual assault

‘I wish I had never met him. I wish I hadn’t enlisted to serve as a warden. I thought I had strength, that I would contribute to the country, but at the end of my military service, I became a prisoner, the slave of Atallah.

‘I didn’t want to be raped, to be raped again and again and again.

‘My commanders, my staff members, who I thought were supposed to guard me , delivered me into the hands of that terrorist.

‘Just the two of us, alone, without handcuffs and without bars.

‘Everyone helped, everyone knew, everyone was silent and everyone was part of this cruel campaign of abuse.

‘The shame is the state’s. The shame belongs to everyone who has been hiding and plastering over this affair for years. Enough of the silence.

She demanded an independent inquiry to investigate the alleged sexual abuses.

She added: ‘Since my release from the IDF, for years I suffered from a nervous breakdown.

‘I am intensively treated several times a week. I don’t have the mental strength necessary for a “normal” person to get out of bed in the morning for a routine, useful and fulfilling day.

‘I am a young woman with the soul of an old and disabled woman. I arrived at Gilboa prison as a strong guard and I stayed there, sentenced to life imprisonment with memories that never leave me – of the smell of [his] body on my body, pain, anger and tears of silence and shame.’

She demanded an independent inquiry to investigate the alleged sexual abuses at the prison (pictured)

She demanded an independent inquiry to investigate the alleged sexual abuses at the prison (pictured)

At least four other women made similar allegations in 2018 that prompted an investigation into the so-called ‘pimping affair’, which was closed owing to lack of evidence.

However, the case was reopened last year when male prison warden Freddy Ben Sheetrit testified during a different inquiry into a breakout that ‘female soldiers were provided to terrorists for sexual purposes’.

Earlier this month Israel’s Prison Service fired the officer accused of facilitating the alleged sexual assaults.

Rani Basha has previously denied the allegations. He told Channel 12 last year the claims ‘aren’t true’ and female guards were ‘agents’ asked to gather information from prisoners and had given consent. 

A case was closed in 2018 due to lack of evidence but reopened in 2021 when a male prison officer testified during a different case about the prison that “compulsory female soldiers were provided to terrorists for sexual purposes”.

After the allegations of rape, lawyer Keren Barak, who represented the other women, said: ‘This is the most shocking case of a sexual assault on an IDF soldier by a terrorist with blood on his hands since the establishment of Israel.’ 

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