Report: Three Senior Officials Quit Mossad Over Moves by New Director

YERUSHALAYIM -
Then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with new Mossad chief David Barnea in June. (PMO)

Three senior officials in the Mossad agency have resigned over decisions made by the organization’s new director, David Barnea, according to a Channel 13 report on Thursday.

The resignations took place in the past few weeks.

Barnea took over as director of the intelligence agency from Yossi Cohen in June.

The officials who left the agency were three of its most senior officials, holding the comparative rank of major-general in the IDF, the report said.

Those said to have quit include the head of the technology division, the head of operations and the head of the branch dealing with the antiterror war. A fourth senior official is reportedly considering quitting as well.

The resignation of the officials was said to be directly linked to organizational decisions made by Barnea to divide up responsibilities in the Mossad and split existing branches.

Barnea served as a combat soldier in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and has been in the Mossad for the past 25 years, including in prominent operational roles that saw him rise to lead the branch that handles the organization’s agents worldwide. He was appointed Cohen’s deputy in 2019.

Cohen had served as head of the Mossad since January 2016. He was considered a close confidante to Netanyahu, reportedly served as the former prime minister’s special envoy for various tasks, and was said to be seen by Netanyahu as his preferred successor as prime minister.

Cohen played a prominent role in last year’s deals to normalize ties with Arab countries. He traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as the U.S. brokered deals between them and Israel.