Nadav Argaman
Nadav ArgamanIsraeli Security Agency

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night decided to appoint Nadav Argaman as the new head of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet or Shabak), as the current ISA chief Yoram Cohen is poised to step down.

Argaman, 55, is a married father of three, and currently serves as the deputy chief of the ISA, a position he has held for three years.

He enlisted in the IDF to an elite unit in 1978, and in 1983 joined the ISA where he has served in a wide variety of operational roles.

Between 2003 and 2007 Argaman served as head of the operations branch in the ISA, and later he spent four years as the ISA representative in the US. 

Back in September 2014 he temporarily served at the Atomic Energy Commission, and in September 2015 returned to his role as deputy head of the ISA at the request of Cohen after then deputy ISA head Roni Alsheich was appointed as police chief.

Argaman holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Haifa University, a master's degree in political science and an additional master's in security and strategy from Haifa University. He completed the security and strategy degree summa cum laude within the framework of the National Security College.

Netanyahu said, "Nadav Argaman has proven and rich operational and commanding experience in the general security services (ISA). I am certain that the Shabak under his command will continue to strengthen in the operational and technological front, and will continue to defend the security of Israel."

Argaman's appointment comes as the ISA is embroiled in controversy over its use of brutal torture in the lethal Duma arson case, which has led to at least one false confession that even the ISA recognized as being false.