Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are expected to meet by the end of the week to reach a decision on the identity of the next chief of the Mossad.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement saying that Netanyahu would announce Meir Dagan’s successor in the coming days.
Dagan, a former IDF major-general, has been head of the Mossad since 2002, when his old friend Ariel Sharon, at the time the prime minister, tasked him 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 appear to be head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yuval Diskin and T., one of Dagan’s former deputies who left the Mossad recently and is waiting to see if he will be appointed to the post. 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 are believed to be 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 have 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 oppose 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.