Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen bids farewell to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
(photo credit: SHIN BET)
The head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yoram Cohen and senior officials from the domestic intelligence agency held a farewell meeting with the outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz at the agency’s central Israel headquarters on Monday.
Cohen paid tribute to years of cooperation between the Shin Bet and the IDF, which he said resulted in hundreds of operations and daily activities to thwart terrorism and safeguard national security.
Cohen personally thanked Gantz for the close cooperation, wishing him success in civilian life. Gantz said that the “quality cooperation between the bodies resulted in unprecedented operational successes that guarded state security and civilians.”
Despite the close cooperation, the two bodies clashed in the aftermath of the summer war
with Hamas in Gaza, and the argument between them went public in November.
The controversy revolved around the Shin Bet’s claim that it had provided an early warning of Hamas’s intention to carry out a major terrorist attack that could lead to war and the IDF’s denial of the existence of any intelligence alert prior to the 50-day conflict.
Tensions came to a head following the broadcast of Channel 2’s Uvda investigative program, which featured Shin Bet accounts of a warning.
Cohen visited Gantz’s home for a reconciliation meeting.
“During the conversation, maneuvers were agreed upon to strengthen cooperation between the organizations on behalf of the security of the State of Israel,” the statement said.
Commenting on the development at the time, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said ongoing inter-organizational cooperation was vital for national security. He said that dispute between the organizations was bad for Israel, and praised the reconciliation.
Prior to the meeting, Gantz sent a letter of complaint to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest the conduct of the Shin Bet and its director, warning of a crisis of trust between the two bodies, in an unprecedented display of division within the defense establishment.