The former director of the Shin Bet internal security organization Avraham Shalom died on Thursday at the age of 86. His funeral was scheduled for this coming Sunday.
Shalom was born in Vienna in 1928 and his family moved to the British-mandated Palestine when he was 11 years old.
He took part in the 1948 War of Independence and after leaving the IDF joined the Shin Bet in 1950, where he rose to become director in 1980. He held the position until 1986 when he resigned amid the controversy over what became known as the Bus 300 Affair.
Shalom was a major figure in some of the most prominent operations carried out by the Shin Bet. He was deputy commander of the mission to seize Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1960. Eichmann was captured in Argentina and brought back to Israel to face trial for his activities during the Holocaust.
His career, however, ended in controversy. On April 12, 1984, four Palestinian terrorists hijacked bus No. 300 traveling from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon and forced it to drive into the Gaza Strip, where it was eventually stopped by Israeli security forces.
The following day commandos stormed the bus, killing two of the terrorists and capturing two alive. All but one of the hostages were freed.
Security forces initially reported that all of the terrorists were killed in the raid, but an inquiry was ordered after photographic evidence showed one of the hijackers being removed from the bus alive. The investigation found that two terrorists who were taken alive were later beaten and executed, but was unable to clarify exactly who had ordered the act.
After a lengthy investigation in which senior Shin Bet officials maintained their silence, increasing evidence pointed toward Shalom having ordered the killings. He resigned in 1986.