Avi Dichter

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Avi Dichter was Director of Israel's Shin Bet security agency between the years 2000-2005.[1]

Early life

Avi Dichter was born in 1952 in Ashkelon. He enlisted in the IDF in 1971 and successfully completed his training in Sayeret Matkal, the elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit and served in the unit as a fighter as well as in his reserve duty. Dichter has a B.A in psychology, criminology and sociology from Bar-Ilan University and an M.B.A. from Tel Aviv University.[1]

Shin Bet

After joining the Shin Bet in 1974, Dichter served as an aircraft security officer on El Al flights. In 1975, he began a case officers training course at the Shin Bet School for Arabic. In 1976, he was stationed as a case officer in the northern Gaza Strip and later served in refugee camps in the center of the Gaza Strip. In 1980, he was appointed regional case officer. In 1983, he was stationed in Lebanon for a year as the Sidon regional case officer following the bombing of the IDF headquarters at Tyre.[1]

In 1986, he was appointed a unit head in the Southern Command during the first intifada.[1] In 1987, he was granted a Medal of Honor by the major general of the Southern Command for the killing of a Palestinian at the Netzarim junction, who carried out a shooting attack against Israeli vehicles moments earlier.[1] In 1990, he was appointed head of the Training Division for Arab Affairs. In 1992, he was appointed head of the Southern Command.[1] In that capacity he oversaw the killing of 'The Engineer', Yahya Ayyash in 1995.[2]

He became head of the Shin Bet Security Division in 1996, following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1999, he was appointed deputy ISA Director.[1]

In 2000, he was appointed ISA Director.[1] He was selected for the position by Prime Minister Ehud Barak, his former commander in Sayaret Matkal.[2]

The Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out early in Dichter's tenure, during which he increased targetted assassinations and helped to initiate the separation wall.[2]

Dichter, later Israel's Minister of Public Security, "was the domestic intelligence agency chief in 2002 when Israel bombed a Hamas military leader's house killing him, his bodyguard and 15 civilians." [3]

The BBC reported,

The Shin Beth agency, headed by Mr Dichter between 2000 and 2005, helped plan the assassination of Hamas military commander Saleh Shehada in July 2002.
Nine children were killed in the raid. A one-tonne bomb was dropped on Mr Shehada's house. The dead included his wife and his three children." [4]

Dichter stepped down as Shin Bet chief in 2005.[1]

He was invited to a seminar on counter terrorism as a keynote speaker by the King's College London in 2007, but cancelled due to fears of being arrested for war crimes.[5]

Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange Talk

In August 2007 Dichter delivered a talk at the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange. According to reports:

His talk ranged from the threat Iran posed to Israel, dramatically driven home with a simple map showing how small Israel is, to suicide bombers, assassinations of terrorist leaders, and the fact that Israeli police avoid the kind of public shootouts in which American officers too often engage[6].


Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange | Shin Bet

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Avi Dichter, Israel Security Agency, accessed 10 May 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 AVI DICHTER/2000-2005, thegatekeepersfilm.com, accessed 10 May 2013.
  3. Israeli avoids UK arrest threat,BBC News Online, 6th December 2007
  4. Israeli avoids UK arrest threat,BBC News Online, 6th December 2007
  5. Israeli avoids UK arrest threat,BBC News Online, 6th December 2007
  6. Michael Jacobs, COVER: A Thicker Blue Line, The Atlanta Jewish Times Online, 31-August-2009