meir dagan 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Meir Dagan’s tenure as head of the Mossad is likely to end in the coming months,
reportedly in wake of the international criticism that Israel suffered following
the January assassination of Hamas archterrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in
less of a strategic asset for US
'Mossad Chief to
Dagan, a former IDF general, was appointed head of the Mossad in
2002 by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. During his eight-year tenure, the
Mossad has been attributed with assassinating Hizbullah’s military chief in
Damascus, a top Syrian general in Tartus as well as a number of top Iranian
While according to the Channel 2 report Dagan asked for an extension,
the Prime Minister's office issued a statement Saturday night saying
that Dagan never requested an extension. "The Prime Minister decided
last year to extend the head of the Mossad's tenure by a year. Since
then no additional decision has been made," the statement said.
When Sharon appointed him to the post, Dagan decided
to focus the Mossad’s work on stopping Iran’s nuclear program as well as
against global terrorism. He has been credited with restoring the
relevance to the global war on terrorism and, according to foreign
Mossad has in recent years succeeded in sabotaging and thereby delaying
nuclear program. The decision to end Dagan’s tenure was reported first
night on Channel 2 News, which also claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu planned to appoint his successor from within the Mossad’s
One possible candidate is T., who served in the past as Dagan’s
deputy, left the Mossad and recently returned.
Other candidates are
believed to be the head of Tzomet, the Mossad branch that directs its
network of agents, as well as the head of the Tevel Branch, which is
for the Mossad’s ties with foreign intelligence agencies.
within the defense establishment are that Netanyahu will decide on a
to Dagan after Defense Minister Ehud Barak chooses a successor to IDF
General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who is set to finish his fouryear
February. This is because one of the generals vying for the top IDF post
be given the Mossad directorship as a consolation prize.
candidate is Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Shin Bet (Israel
Agency), who is also scheduled to complete his term by the end of the
head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin.
The decision not to
renew Dagan’s appointment is reportedly related to the fallout from the
assassination. A number of states friendly to Israel were angry by the
their passports in the operation.
As a result, diplomats were expelled
from Britain, Ireland and Australia.