Mossad spook to replace Amos Gilad in powerful defense post
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Mossad spook to replace Amos Gilad in powerful defense post

Zohar Palti will take over as head of Political-Military Affairs Bureau, pending government approval

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Amos Gilad. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Amos Gilad. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accepted the recommendation of a ministry committee to appoint Zohar Palti as the new head of its powerful Political-Military Affairs Bureau on Monday.

Pending government approval, Palti will take over for Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, who has served in the position since 2003.

Palti was selected by a committee led by Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Adam, which also included Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel, a former general in charge of the ministry’s weapons development program, and Sima Shine, a former deputy head of the National Security Council.

Liberman is expected to bring the issue before the government for final approval soon, the ministry said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Knesset, on October 31, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Knesset, on October 31, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In a statement, Liberman thanked Gilad for his years of service, saying the fruits of his labor “will remain with us for years to come.”

The defense minister noted that Palti will be entering into the position at a time of upheaval in the world order, in general, and in the Middle East, specifically.

“I believe that Palti will be able to contribute meaningfully to that,” he said.

As director of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau, Gilad was once said to “run the country” and has been involved in matters of national and global importance for over a decade.

Before joining the Defense Ministry, he served in a number of senior positions in the IDF, including head of Military Intelligence’s lauded Research Division, IDF spokesperson and military secretary of the prime minister.

Palti too served in the Research Division of Military Intelligence before moving to the Mossad, where he led the security agency’s intelligence department.

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