Avraham Ahituv

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Avraham Ahituv was director of Israel's Shin Bet security agency from 1974 to 1980.[1]

Early life

Ahituv was born in 1930 in Germany with the name Avraham Gottfried. He immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of five. Ahituv joined the Haganah at sixteen, and from there continued to the Internal Intelligence Service founded during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War which later became the Shin Bet. During that period he changed his surname from Gottfried to Ahituv.[1]

Shin Bet

Ahituv joined the Shin Bet in 1949. During his service he completed his high school matriculation test, as well as a B.A. and a masters’ degree in law. He served in a number of key positions.[1]

Ahituv headed Shin Bet operations in the Gaza Strip during a brief period of Israeli control in 1956.[2]

In 1961, he was appointed director of a Mossad branch abroad.[1]

In the mid-1960s, Ahituv headed Shin Bet's Arab Affairs Department, which was respoinsible for counter-subversion in Israeli Arab communities following the end of military administration in 1966. The following year, he acquired responsibility for the occupied territories, newly captured in the Six Day War. He worked closely with Yehuda Arbel to set up a network of informers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. There methods were of dubious legality but by December 1967, they had forced the West Bank headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to retreat to Jordan.[3]

In 1974, he was appointed ISA Director.[1]Along with Mossad chief Itzhak Hofi, he offered his resignation to Menachem Begin when the Likud leader became Prime Minister in 1977 but was asked to stay on by Begin who fostered a close relationship with his intelligence chiefs.[4]

Following car bomb attacks on Palestinian mayors on 2 June 1980, Ahituv asked Begin for permission to plant agents among Jewish settlers. Begin, whose party had close links to the settlers, rejected the request.[5]

Ahituv retired as director in 1980.[1]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Avraham Ahituv, Israel Security Agency, accessed 9 May 2013.
  2. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.169.
  3. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.169.
  4. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.220.
  5. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, pp.245-246.