Three defense projects win Israel's top security prize

The classified projects, as well as a senior Mossad officer, will be presented with the award on September 13.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the Negev Desert ahead the IDF intelligence directorate's proposed move to the Negev, July 6, 2020 (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the Negev Desert ahead the IDF intelligence directorate's proposed move to the Negev, July 6, 2020
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Three classified defense projects by the Mossad spy agency, Shin Bet security service, IDF and defense companies have been awarded Israel’s top security prize, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has announced.
A senior Mossad officer, identified as Aleph, was also presented with a lifetime achievement award for his “years-long contribution to the security of the state and for his initiative to develop many technological solutions while displaying outstanding talent, creativity, curiosity and courage,” read a statement by Gantz’s office.
Though the projects that won the prize remain classified, they all involved Israeli defense companies.
One project, which led to the IDF gaining “specialized capabilities [and] a technological breakthrough was achieved, with outstanding vision, creativity and determination,” was led by the Mossad, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Israel Air Force and the IDF’s Military Intelligence Unit 9900.
Another winner was a project led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), with assistance from the IAF, MAFAT (the Defense Ministry’s research-and-development department), Rafael and Elbit Systems.
“The project was carried out with utmost courage and determination, and tackled unprecedented technological knowledge gaps allowing for a great leap in IDF capabilities,” the ministry said.
The third project, carried out by the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, “included innovative advancements in a number of areas and made a significant contribution to the security of the state,” the ministry said.
Praising the projects and the “talent, deduction and commitment to the mission” of those who were involved, Gantz said that the state has “breakthrough capabilities” and that the “security of Israeli citizens has been ensured.”
“Especially because the work of the winners was done in secret, I am proud to give them this recognition in the name of all the citizens of Israel for their mighty contributions, investment and work, and for their contribution to the resilience of Israeli society,” the defense minister said.
President Reuven Rivlin thanked the recipients for their “long nights, days, weeks and months of exhausting and grueling work,” that they “invested for the security of the country.”
“The threats facing the State of Israel, its well-being and the lives of its citizens are constantly updating and renewing" themselves, he said. "The technological arms race is a campaign that never ends.”
The award has been presented annually for over 60 years to people and projects based on technological achievements that have made a significant contribution to the country’s security and provide unique operational responses. It is named after Elijah Golomb, the commander of Israel’s pre-state Hagana militia.
The award will be presented to the recipients on September 13 in a ceremony at the President's Residence, which be attended by Rivlin, Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Defense Ministry director-general Maj.-Gen.(ret.) Amir Eshel.