Possible candidates for positions of defense minister and internal security chief

Avi Dichter, a former commando of the Elite Reconnaissance Unit, recently retired as Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief. He joined Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Kadima Party this week. Shaul Mofaz was born in Iran and made aliya in 1957. In 1966 he joined the IDF and fought as a paratrooper in the Six Day War. In 1994 he was promoted to the rank of major-general and in 1998 was appointed chief of General Staff. He became defense minister in 2002. Ami Ayalon served his entire military service in the Israel Navy. In 1992 Ayalon received the rank of admiral and was appointed commander of the Israel Navy. He retired from active army service in 1995. He then served as the head of the Shin Bet. Matan Vilna'i served in the IDF for 35 years and rose to the position of deputy chief of General Staff. Elected to the Knesset in 1999, he was appointed minister of science, culture and sport. In January 2005, he became a minister without portfolio. Ehud Yatom is a former Shin Bet head and a one-time nominee to head the prime minister's antiterrorism task force. Yuval Steinitz has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Haifa, where he taught philosophy of science. He has been an MK since July 1999, and has served as chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Compiled by Jonathan Schneider