Two Days After Taking Office, PM Bennett Extends Shin Bet Chief's Tenure Until October

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday
Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on TuesdayCredit: Haim Zach / GPO
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett extend Tuesday the tenure of Shin Bet security service chief Nadav Argaman by an additional month, until October. 

Argaman's term has been extended from time to time over the past year in the midst of Israel’s political deadlock and difficulties of appointing senior officials during a transitional government. 

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Bennett and Argaman held a working meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, for the first time since Bennett took office on Sunday. It was reported on Bennett’s behalf that the Shin Bet chief presented the premier with an intelligence brief with respect to various arenas under the service’s responsibility. 

By law, the Shin Bet chief’s term is five years. About two months ago, on the eve of Argaman's retirement, Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended his term by a few months. 

Prior to his appointment as Shin Bet chief in 2016, Argaman served as deputy head of the agency. 

Argaman, grew up in Kibbutz Hamadia in the Beit She’an Valley. He did his military service in an anonymous elite unit, and in 1983, soon after being demobilized, he joined the Shin Bet.

He spent over 20 years in the operations department, in various positions, and became its head in 2003, at the height of the second intifada. During his four years in this role, he oversaw hundreds of counterterrorism operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as counterespionage operations within Israel. He was also responsible for overseeing assassinations of wanted terrorists.

He then served four years as the agency’s head of security in the United States, with responsibility for protecting Israel’s embassy and consulates, before returning to Israel to spend three years as deputy Shin Bet chief under Cohen. In 2014, Alsheich replaced him and he was loaned for a year to the Atomic Energy Commission. But after Alsheich’s surprise appointment as police commissioner, Argaman returned to his old job as deputy Shin Bet head.

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