Shin Bet

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The Israel Security Agency (ISA) or General Security Agency, known in Hebrew as Shabak (an abbreviation for Sherut ha-Bitachon ha-Klali) or Shin Bet, is the Israeli counterintelligence and internal security service.[1]

Contents

History

the Shin Bet was founded as Israel's domestic security service in June 1948, when the new state's intelligence community was organised out of Shai, the intelligence wing of the Haganah militia.[2]

A meeting of the Varash committee of intelligence chiefs on 19 June 1967 gave Shin Bet responsibility for internal security in the occupied territories conquered in the Six Day War.[3]

Bus 300 Affair

In 1984, two detained Palestinian hijackers were beaten to death by agents in what became known as the Bus 300 Affair. A government report later revealed that the Shin Bet chief at the time, Avraham Shalom, had ordered the two Palestinians killed and them attempted to cover this up.[4]

Izzat Nafsu case

In 1987, Shin Bet was found to have extracted a false confession of espionage from an Israeli army officer Izzat Nafsu, who had been imprisoned for 18 years.[5]

Landau Commission

Following the Nafsu case a Commission was appointed under supreme court judge Moshe Landau to investigate the intelligence community and its methods. While the committee was deliberating a palestinian prisoner, Awad Hamdan, died in his cell under Shin Bet interrogation.[6]

The Commission found that Shin Bet had used "physical pressure" as a matter of course in the occupied territories, and had routinely lied to the courts during the directorships of Yosef Harmelin, Avraham Ahituv and Avraham Shalom.[7]

Rabin Assassination

Following the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing extremist in 1995, the head of Shin Bet, Carmi Gillon resigned.[8] A Shin Bet agent inside the right-wing, Avishai Raviv, was later acquitted of failing to prevent the assassination.[9]

Structure and Personnel

Shin Bet has three operational departments and five for operational support.[10]

Directors

Deputy Directors

Operations Division

According to journalists Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, the Operations Division in the early years of Shin Bet had three departments, Arab Affairs, Non-Arab Affairs, and Protective Security.[22] Given Avraham Ben-Dor's move from head of operations to head of security in 1972, it is possible that security became an independent division at some point. [23]

Arab Affairs

The department of Arab Affairs is responsible for counter-terrorism, counter-subversion and monitoring 'Arab militants'. Its Henza detachments work with Aman Mista'averim units in occupied territories and some neighboring states.[27]

Counter-terrorism Department

Non-Arab Affairs

The department of Non-Arab Affairs has a wider counter-intelligence role which includes monitoring immigrants and foreign diplomatic missions.[29] At one time its was divided into communist and non-communist departments.[30] It's role includes responsibility for the Jewish Division.[31]

Jewish Division

The Jewish division is responsible for investigating subversive activity by far right Jewish militants.[33]

Protective Security

The protective security department is responsible for protecting strategic infrastructure and for the El Al airline.[36]

Heads of Protective Security
Deputy Heads of Protective Security
Heads of Protective Security in Europe
VIP Security Unit
El-Al Security

Support Divisions

Support branch departments have included administration, interrogation and legal counsel, technology, co-ordination and planning, and logistics.[22]

Administrative Division

Interrogation and Legal Counsel Division

Legal Advisors

Training Division

Regional Commands

Northern Command

Central Command

Southern Command

Miscellaneous Staff

External Resources

Notes

  1. Shabak/Shin Bet/Israel Security Agency/Sherut ha-Bitachon ha-Klali, Federation of American Scientists, accessed 9 May 2009.
  2. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, pp.16-18.
  3. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.168.
  4. Profile: Israel's Shin Bet agency Wednesday, 30 January, 2002.
  5. Profile: Israel's Shin Bet agency Wednesday, 30 January, 2002.
  6. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.296.
  7. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.297.
  8. Profile: Israel's Shin Bet agency Wednesday, 30 January, 2002.
  9. Moshe Reinfeld, Avishai Raviv acquitted of having failed to prevent Rabin assassination, Haaretz, 30 July 2013.
  10. Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch, Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today, Zed Books, 2003, p.153.
  11. ISA Directors Then and Now, ISA Security Agency (Shin Bet), accessed 9 April 2009.
  12. Yuval Diskin appointed ISA Director, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 February 2005.
  13. Netanyahu appoints Yoram Cohen as Israel's next Shin Bet chief, Haaretz, 28 March 2011.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Efrat Weiss, Former Shin Bet chief Amos Manor dies, age 89, Ynet, 5 August 2007.
  15. Yosef Harmelin, Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.284.
  17. Ephraim Kahana, 'Historical Dictionary of Israeli intelligence', Scarecrow Press, 2006, p.100.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Yaakov Peri, Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  19. Lahav Harkov, Kadima MK Gideon Ezra dies of lung cancer at 74, Jerusalem Post, 17 May 2012.
  20. Avid Dichter, Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012
  21. Richard Silverstein, Deputy Shin Bet, WMD Chiefs Named (and Their Favorite Beverages), Tikun Olam, 13 March 2013.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.50.
  23. Avraham (Shalom) Ben-Dor , Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  24. Avraham (Shalom) Ben-Dor , Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Report of Internal GSS Committee on Rabin Assassination, 8 November 1985, archived by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  26. Ephraim Kahana, 'Historical Dictionary of Israeli intelligence', Scarecrow Press, 2006, p.112.
  27. Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch, Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today, Zed Books, 2003, p.153.
  28. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.169.
  29. Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch, Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today, Zed Books, 2003, p.153.
  30. Profile: Israel's Shin Bet agency Wednesday, 30 January, 2002.
  31. Tomer Zarchin and Amos Harel, Shin Bet deputy suspended for role in lover's promotion, Haaretz, 9 June 2010.
  32. Tomer Zarchin and Amos Harel, Shin Bet deputy suspended for role in lover's promotion, Haaretz, 9 June 2010.
  33. J.J. Goldberg, IDF Probe: Troops' Hands Tied Controlling Rightist Jewish Extremism, forward.com, 27 June 2011.
  34. Mitch Ginsburg, Outwitted by a bunch of 12-year-olds, The Times of Israel', 19 June 2013.
  35. Richard Silverstein, Jewish Terrorist, Charged With Multiple Palestinian Murders, ‘Outs’ Chief of Shin Bet’s Jewish Terror Department, Tikun Olam, 16 July 2010.
  36. Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch, Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today, Zed Books, 2003, p.153.
  37. Avraham (Shalom) Ben-Dor , Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Alan Sipress, Two Hijackers Were Taken Alive. A Photo Proved It. Israeli's Account Of Killing Arabs Renews A Scandal, Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 August 1996.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 39.7 39.8 39.9 Yossi Melman, Nothing succeeds like abject failure, Haaretz, 18 October 2002.
  40. Avid Dichter, Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012
  41. Israeli Security Services Tell Codel Talent That Interagency Connectivity Is Key In The Fight Against Terror, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 21 December 2004, published by Wikileaks, 1 September 2011.
  42. LECTURES, Four Troop, accessed 29 July 2013.
  43. Veteran Shin Bet official appointed Israel's head of Counter-Terrorism Bureau, BBC Monitoring International Reports, 2 March 2012, archived at accessmylibrary.com.
  44. Veteran Shin Bet official appointed Israel's head of Counter-Terrorism Bureau, BBC Monitoring International Reports, 2 March 2012, archived at accessmylibrary.com.
  45. Shlomo Harnoy, Sdema Group, acccessed 28 July 2013.
  46. Veteran Shin Bet official appointed Israel's head of Counter-Terrorism Bureau, BBC Monitoring International Reports, 2 March 2012, archived at accessmylibrary.com.
  47. Dror Mor, Sdema Group, acccessed 28 July 2013.
  48. LECTURES, Four Troop, accessed 29 July 2013.
  49. Veteran Shin Bet official appointed Israel's head of Counter-Terrorism Bureau, BBC Monitoring International Reports, 2 March 2012, archived at accessmylibrary.com.
  50. Carmi Gillon, Israel Security Agency, accessed 24 July 2012.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Yossi Melman, The 'torture police' - Every Shin Bet move is watched by its legal team, Haaretz, 12 June 2008.
  52. Mitch Ginsburg, Israel should free 1,000 security prisoners, says ex-Shin Bet official, The Times of Israel, 10 June 2013.
  53. Deputy Secretary Raises Transit Of Gaza Students With Shin Bet: Followup, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 11 December 2009, published by Wikileaks, 1 September 2011.
  54. Rafah Security Working Group Meeting, US Consulate Jerusalem, 19 April 2007, published by Wikileaks, 1 September 2011.
  55. Israeli Ct Officials Discuss Israel-hizballah War, U.s.-israel Ct Cooperation, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 19 September 2006, unredacted publication by Wikileaks, 8 September 2011.
  56. Jcg: Israel Nsc's 2/23 Session With S/ct Amb. Crumpton, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 17 March, 2006, unredacted publication by Wikileaks, 8 September 2011.
  57. 57.0 57.1 Goi Info On Ramallah Bank Raid, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 5 March 2004, published by Wikileaks, 1 September 2011.
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 Mann Mairone's private anti-terrorist squad, Intelligence Online, 8 April 2010.
  59. Lior Akerman, Should the Shin Bet be heard?, 14 March 2013.
  60. Dan Vesely, Sdema Group, acccessed 28 July 2013.
  61. LECTURES, Four Troop, accessed 29 July 2013.
  62. Amir Takomi, Sdema Group, acccessed 28 July 2013.
  63. Ami Golan, Sdema Group, acccessed 28 July 2013.
  64. Pillar Team, Pillar Group, accessed 29 July 2013.
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