(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Tamir Pardo will be the next head of the Mossad, the Prime Minister's Office announced Monday afternoon.
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Pardo is a long term veteran of the Mossad, and was outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan's deputy.
In announcing the appointment Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Pardo has dozens of years of experience and he is sure that he is the right man to lead the organization in the years ahead in the face of the "complex challenges" facing Israel.
In a statement put out by the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu expressed his deep appreciation to Dagan for his contribution to Israel's security, and was certain he would continue to contribute in the future as well.
Ariel Sharon, at the time the prime minister, tasked Dagan with restructuring the agency after a slew of mishaps and several years of reported operational paralysis.
Dagan completely changed the way the Mossad operated from the days under his predecessor Ephraim Halevy. He also turned the Mossad’s attention to two main objectives: preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and waging a covert shadow war against the axis of evil that is made up of Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas.
The two leading candidates who lost out on the role were head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yuval Diskin and T., one of Dagan’s former deputies who left the Mossad recently. During the Second Lebanon War, T. opened an office in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv and worked closely with head of the Operations Directorate at the time, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.
Other candidates in the running were the head of Tzomet, the Mossad
branch that directs its worldwide network of agents, the head of the
Tevel Branch, which is responsible for the Mossad’s ties with foreign
intelligence agencies, as well as Maj.- Gen. Amos Yadlin, who stepped
down last week as head of Military Intelligence.
Former heads of the Mossad pushed Netanyahu to appoint someone from
within the Mossad to the post and not to bring in another outsider like
“Dagan was a huge success,” one former top Mossad official said. “But
there is importance in also establishing leadership within the
organization and this can be done by appointing a director from within
the current ranks.”
Barak is said to have opposed the appointment of T., who apparently knew
about the “Galant Document” before it was leaked to the press by his
friend Col. (res.) Gabi Siboni. Some say that Barak would prefer
appointing Yadlin to the post.