In first, two women appointed as Mossad division heads

Reaching rank equivalent to an IDF major general, ‘S’ and ‘L’ now head up units of Israel’s secretive national intelligence agency

Illustrative photo (iStock)
Illustrative photo (iStock)

Marking a first for Israel’s national intelligence agency, the Mossad has revealed that two women were recently appointed division heads, the highest position reached by women in the secretive government body.

With the identities of the two withheld from publication for security reasons, Yedioth Aharonoth reported Sunday that “S” was appointed to the role of division head in the past few weeks while “L” was given charge of a parallel unit a number of months ago.

The Mossad confirmed the report but declined to give further details about the appointments or which divisions S and L are in charge of.

A 2017 Mossad ad seeking female agents: “We don’t care what you’ve done, we care about who you are!” (Courtesy)

While a woman has previously held the position of division head, which is equivalent rank to an IDF major general, this marks the first time that two women have headed divisions at the same time.

In 2011, Orna Barbivai was named as the Israel Defense Forces’ first female major general, leading the army’s Human Resources Directorate until 2015. In July of this year, the army appointed Brig. Gen. Ariella Lazrovitch as the military’s chief financial adviser, making her the first woman to hold that position and one of four women to serve on the IDF General Staff.

In another first for the Mossad, Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu is set to award medals to agents performing secret operations in a private ceremony on Monday.

Netanyahu and Mossad head Yossi Cohen are to give citations to six teams of agents for activities they carried out in the past year.

Yossi Cohen (r), head of the Mossad secret service, raises a toast together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ahead of the upcoming Jewish New Year at the PM’s office in Jerusalem on September 7, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)

The men and women reportedly carried out secret operations around the world, including inside enemy countries.

Netanyahu and Cohen will speak in what is expected to become an annual event.

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