Netanyahu appoints new head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency

Deputy Mossad director, identified only as ‘D’, appointed to head Israel’s spy agency.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that he appointed a new deputy Mossad director, identified only by the initial “D”, to head Israel’s top secret national spy agency.

In a short statement, Netanyahu described D as “an accomplished Mossad veteran,” adding that the appointment was submitted to the Senior Civil Service Appointment Advisory Committee chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Goldberg.

D served in same elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit to which Netanyahu belonged when he was a soldier in the IDF, Ynet reported. He is considered close to the current head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen. D’s identity will be revealed only when his appointment is approved by the Goldberg Committee.

Following his IDF service, D joined the Mossad. During his service there, he worked in the organization’s Operations Division and  then in the “Tsomet” (junction) Division, which deals with recruiting and operating agents.

Cohen, the current head of the Mossad who will shortly finish his term if D’s appointment is confirmed, has been a central figure in talks that led to peace agreements with four Muslim countries in recent months: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

After signing the Abraham Accords in Washington with the UAE and Bahrain, Cohen told Ynet that “these historic agreements eliminate the danger of war. This is a logical coalition that should moderate Iranian violence in the region and perhaps promote the possibility of an updated unsuccessful nuclear agreement.”

Knesset member Ram Ben Barak of the opposition Yesh Atid party, who had served as deputy head of the Mossad, said that “D is a cool guy, and there are only good things to say about him.”

“He has rich operational experience. I do not praise Netanyahu, but he did the right thing here because the man is very worthy. The organization gets a good message, that a guy from the inside gets the job,” Ben Barak added.

According to several reports, Netanyahu did not update Defense Minister Benny Gantz before making the key appointment, in apparent violation of the generally accepted practice but most likely over ongoing tensions as the country heads towards possible elections.

“Although the coalition agreement requires that senior appointments be made by agreement, Netanyahu did not consult with Gantz before appointing D as head of the next Mossad, nor did he update him on the appointment in advance,” commented Israeli journalist Yoav Limor.

Despite the snub, Gantz issued a statement acknowledging the appointment.

“The Mossad has great and significant challenges in maintaining the security of the State of Israel and its citizens. We will wait for the approval of the Goldberg Committee and wish D success in his position,” Gantz said.