Shin Bet Identifies Failures in Security Breach, Hands out Reprimands

Ronen Bar, chief of Israel’s Shin Bet security services. (Flash90)

The Shin Bet’s investigation into a security breach in the office of Defense Minister Benny Gantz has concluded that procedural flaws were mainly the cause and recommended only reprimands of two officials involved, according to media reports on Tuesday.

A man with an extensive criminal record was allowed to work as a house cleaner for Gantz, with the employee allegedly offering to spy on him for Iran. The security service said that no classified material had been compromised but an investigation was launched to determine how such a person could have gained such access.

The Shin Bet stated that “professional failures were discovered in Omri Goren’s security diagnostic process, due to professional gaps and omissions in the work processes. In addition, deficiencies were discovered in the control processes that were supposed to detect the mistake after the fact.”

In addition, there was a “gap in the work process that regularly synchronizes all the factors involved in the security of the Minister and his environment – the diagnostic unit and the security unit in the Shin Bet and those in charge of security on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

To prevent any repetition of these failures, the protocols have been tightened regarding people who work with protected individuals.

Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said after receiving the results: “Despite the success in thwarting [the spy after he made contact with Iranian agents], we failed to prevent it. In a proper process such a person was not supposed to work in the environment of a secured individual. The incident that occurred here has allowed us an in-depth examination that will lead to improved processes and control mechanisms with regard to the issue of officials in the environment of secured individuals.”