Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Friday held his first meeting in his new position with Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Director Ronen Bar.
Lapid and Bar met as the terrorism wave that took hold of the country earlier in the spring has faded somewhat. However, it still remains a top issue for the Shin Bet to get under control and prevent in the future.
The new prime minister and the Shin Bet chief also likely discussed efforts by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS and others to attack the Israeli homeland, spy on sensitive sites and officials, undermine public order and attempt to incite the country’s Arab-Israeli population into riots similar as those that occurred during the May 2021 Gaza war.
Another major topic of conversation was likely how to handle sensitive issues related to east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, issues that Hamas has been working hard to exploit to incite the region.
Finally, the Shin Bet’s technological breadth has grown in recent years, from involvement in tracking Israeli citizens who were infected with COVID-19 to other surveillance programs. These programs have received praise from some for helping thwart terrorist attacks before they happen, while others have criticized them as unconstitutional invasions of privacy.
The two might also have discussed security arrangements for Lapid – who will be staying at an apartment within the prime minister’s large Balfour residential area during the time that renovations are being undertaken at the main house – as well as some security arrangements for his personal home, although unlike Naftali Bennett, Lapid will mostly be at Balfour.