Yoram Cohen will replace Yuval Diskin as head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday. The Prime Minister made the announcement in a speech at the World Jewish National Fund convention.
The appointment needs to be approved by the government, and before that, by the Turkel Committee, which vets candidates for top official positions.
Netanyahu said that choosing the Shin Bet head involved selecting "the most excellent among the most excellent."
"Yoram Cohen joined the Shin Bet 30 years ago, he held numerous command and staff positions, he is a man of the field, he grew from the field, he knows the field and the field knows him," Netanyahu said. "He will bring the leadership and the experience necessary for the job."
Cohen was Deputy Head of the Shin Bet from 2005 to 2008 and will be the first kippah-wearing Shin Bet head.
Cohen was born in 1960. He is married with five children and a resident of Jerusalem since 1983. He grew up and was raised in Tel Aviv, and graduated from the Midreshet Noam high school yeshiva in Pardes Hana. He served in the elite reconnaissance unit of the Golani Brigade during his army years.
Netanyahu thanked Diskin, who will retire in May after six years as Shin Bet commander.
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