Netanyahu taps Mossad's deputy chief as intelligence agency's next head

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced on Tuesday he has decided to appoint Mossad’s Deputy Director D. as the next chief of the clandestine intelligence agency.

D. is considered a protégé of current Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and has spent his entire military career in the intelligence agency as part of the army’s General Staff Reconnaissance Unit.

During his time with the Mossad, he worked in the organization’s operations division and in the Tzomet division, which deals with recruiting and operating agents out on the field.

Reportedly, Netanyahu did not inform Defense Minister Benny Gantz of the appointment.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a request for comment but sources close to Netanyahu said that the prime minister holds the authority to appoint a new head for Mossad.

Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, who previously served as Mossad’s deputy director, praised D. and described him as having “vast operational experience.”

Outgoing Mossad chief Cohen spearheaded the talks that have led to Israel normalizing ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

He also accompanied Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia, where they are said to have met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the normalization of ties with Israel.

Cohen and the spy agency were also entrusted to procure medical gear and COVID-19 test kits from countries with which Israel did not have open relations.

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