Netanyahu thanked the award recipients for “fighting every day with secrecy, ingenuity, creativity and dedication. I am proud of you.”
By Jack Gold, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) Director Nadav Argaman attended the Prime Minister’s Award ceremony for outstanding intelligence-operational achievements during 2017-2018, held Tuesday at Shin Bet headquarters.
The award is given once every two years as an expression of appreciation for high-level planning, impeccable professional performance and a significant contribution to achieving service objectives in the field of counterterrorism and state security.
Six groundbreaking operations were honored, and certificates of appreciation were given to the workers who took part in their leadership and execution.
The operations selected as the recipients of the award were described by the Shin Bet as “the most unique, sophisticated and creative operations” carried out by the security agency in the past two years in the operational, intelligence, technological and cyber areas, in close and distant arenas.
Among the award winners were the developers of advanced technological capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the prevention of espionage activity against the State of Israel, the execution of an operation to obtain access to “valuable ground-breaking” intelligence, the ongoing prevention of dangerous terrorist attacks, and the “development of secret methods and operational tools” to contend with the variety of opponents facing the Shin Bet.
500 attacks thwarted
“Five-hundred is your number of thwarted attacks this year, and this is an amazing number that says that hundreds of Israeli citizens owe you their lives,” Netanyahu stated, thanking them for “fighting every day with secrecy, ingenuity, creativity and dedication. I am proud of you.”
Argaman noted that “we are celebrating Chanukah, the festival of heroism that celebrates the determination, boldness and faith in our just cause, a holiday that attests to a legacy of victories and achievements.”
“The special work for which you are being recognized today could not have happened without the determination and aspiration for excellence inherent within you,” he added.
“Excellence is also comprised of an element of innovation and creativity, the ability to create from nothing, to think beyond the boundaries of the familiar, to believe in the idea, even if it seemed crazy at first, and not let go in the face of difficulties,” Argaman said.
“In this test, too, you passed successfully and proved to us all that the sky is the limit,” he concluded.