In a changing-of-the-guard ceremony of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered a glimpse into the challenges the country faces, saying that there are hundreds of security warnings each week that must be dealt with.
Former Shin Bet deputy director Nadav Argaman officially took over as head the domestic intelligence agency on Sunday, succeeding Yoram Cohen, who held the post for five years.
Argaman has served his entire career, 33 years, in the Shin Bet, which is responsible for combating terrorist activities on both sides of the 1949 Armistice Line (also known as the “Green Line”).
Netanyahu praised Cohen and the agency in general, which he said has thwarted “many hundreds” of attacks, from shootings to mass attacks and kidnappings.
“Thwarting these attacks prevented the deaths of many people,” he said. “Unfortunately we did not succeed in saving everyone. ”
Netanyahu, who appointed Cohen in 2011 –lauded him for leading the Shin Bet with “determination and professionalism,” and for doing it with “characteristic quiet, modesty, and lots and lots of results.”
After thanking the members of the Shin Bet, who he said risk their lives and operate under very difficult conditions, he also thanked those outside the Shin Bet who “help” the organization fulfill its aims.
“These people are even more anonymous and confidential then the Shin Bet workers themselves, and often risk their lives for Israel’s security,” he said. “I want to express to them my gratitude and appreciation, and that of the state, for their decisive contribution to thwarting attacks.”