Fomer intel chief to head Knesset defense committee

Likud MK Avi Dichter, a former director of the Shin Bet security agency, is elected chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The committee voted unanimously to appoint Dichter to the position, considered one of the most influential in the legislature.

The committee deals with “the foreign affairs of the state, its armed forces and its security,” according to the Knesset website. As part of its work the committee also oversees the annual IDF budget.

Knesset members and IDF officers attend a Foreign Affairs and Defense committee meeting in the Israeli parliament on Thursday, November 15 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Knesset members and IDF officers attend a Foreign Affairs and Defense committee meeting in the Knesset on Thursday, November 15 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Dichter replaces fellow Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who has served as the committee chair since the beginning of the 20th Knesset in May 2015. In a recent cabinet reshuffle following the addition of the Yisrael Beytenu party to the coalition, Hanegbi was appointed Minister without portfolio.

Dichter served as director of the Shin Bet in 2000-2005. He was first elected to the Knesset in 2016 as part of the now-defunct Kadima party.

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