Former Shin Bet head: 'I didn't know Raviv's name'

Ex-security head rejects allegations over performance before Rabin's murder. 'I didn't know his name as I didn't know thousands of agents.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Avishai Raviv, Codename: 'Champagne'
Avishai Raviv, Codename: 'Champagne'
Flash 90

Former Shin Bet security service head Carmi Gillon spoke today about his responsibility for the Shin Bet's failure to prevent Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.

"Show me how many other people took responsibility like I did, and resigned from their job. According to Prime Minister Peres, I should have continued to head the Shin Bet. I resigned because I know what responsibility entails and I have integrity, and that's what I expect from every public figure and government official," Gilon said in an interview on Galatz.

Gillon claimed in the interview that he did not know about Avishai Raviv's operation as a Shin Bet agent until his name was revealed in the media; not even when Raviv was among the demonstrators in front of his home. "I didn't know Avishai Raviv at the time. His name on Channel 2 may be Avishai Raviv, but I certainly didn't know him. I didn't know his name as I didn't know the names of thousands of Shin Bet agents.

Avishai Raviv's mission was to monitor rightist activities. His code name was 'Champagne'. Raviv was brought to trial in 2000 for not preventing Rabin's assassination, but he also acted as a provocateur, insinuating himself into religious Zionist circles and coaxing them to action to turn public opinion against them. Three months before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed, Raviv was appearing nightly on the news conducting militant "right-wing" induction ceremonies, publicly beating Arabs, and distributing photos of Rabin in an SS uniform.

"It's clear that the Jewish Department (the branch of the Shin Bet dealing with Jews) knew who Avishai Raviv was, but it's also clear that the head of the Shin Bet doesn't know about every single one," he added.

During the interview, Gillon revealed the identity of the person who found the place where abducted IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman was hidden. "The man who broke the case, who stands at the head of the police today, is Roni Alsheikh. It's not Gideon Ezra, not me, it's Roni Alsheikh with a lot of desk workers who assisted him."