After decades working for the Mossad, current chief Yossi Cohen is about to wrap up his career in the agency and has stressed the need to focus on the Iranian regime, moving forward.
“I think that we should be stepping up our activities against the Iranian regime,” Cohen said on Sunday, days before his retirement. “We should be acting against the Iranians a lot more forcefully, opposing them with all our might, until they finally get the message that any crossing of red lines will cost them dearly.”
Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he will be appointing David Barnea as Cohen’s replacement. Barnea is 56 years old and is married with four children. He served in the elite Sayeret Matkal IDF unit in which Netanyahu himself once served. He has a Master’s degree in Business Management from New York University and previously served as a senior management director in an Israeli investment bank.
Barnea was recruited by the Mossad in 1996 when he took an officer’s course. He later headed a unit running agents both in Israel and overseas. Between 2013 and 2019, he served in the Mossad’s Tzomet department, and subsequently served as the Mossad’s deputy chief. He will assume the leadership of the Mossad from the beginning of June.
Last Wednesday, Cohen attended a meeting of the Knesset’s Intelligence Committee, headed by MK Orna Barvivai, at which he was thanked for his years of service. Cohen in turn thanked the committee members for their support at the conclusion of five-and-a-half years at the helm of the Mossad, and 38 years in the organization during which he had the merit to serve his country.