Mossad deputy chief resigns amid internal strife

Meir Dagan

Meir Dagan

It emerged yesterday that the deputy director of the Mossad, Israel’s premier external intelligence agency, has stepped down. The official, known only as “T.”, appears to have resigned in protest over the Israeli government’s decision to extend the Mossad director’s tenure for an unprecedented eighth year. It has also emerged that  “T.” first warned the government two months ago that he would resign if the decision was made to retain Meir Dagan as Mossad director for yet another year. “T’s” resignation marks the fourth resignation of a Mossad deputy chief during Dagan’s directorship. There are rumors that Dagan refuses to leave his post until he agrees to a successor, which according to Israeli daily Ha’aretz, “will come neither from the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces nor Mossad”. The newspaper claims that Dagan wants to see Yuval Diskin, the current chief of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, succeed him. But other sources point to Israel’s former Air Force chief, Major General Eliezer Shkedy, 52, as the leading candidate for the post. Meanwhile, Kadima Knesset member Jacob Edery submitted a bill earlier today that would restrict the Mossad director’s tenure to four years. Edery introduced the legislation by saying that “[t]he current situation is unhealthy and wrong, and creates unnecessary tensions among Mossad’s top brass”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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