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Next designated Shin Bet chief to answer allegations of misconduct — TV

‘Resh’ will be asked by panel that approves senior appointments to respond to 2 accusations made against him in anonymous letter, though they’re unlikely to unravel nomination

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) and Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman meet at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 15, 2021. (Haim Tzach/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) and Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman meet at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 15, 2021. (Haim Tzach/GPO)

The next designated head of the Shin Bet security service will be summoned before the committee that vets senior appointments on Friday to respond to claims of unspecified misconduct.

Two separate claims were made in an anonymous letter presented to the panel, known as the Goldberg Committee, though Hebrew media sites said Thursday they could not reveal the specifics of the allegations due to security constraints.

The candidate — who is the current deputy Shin Bet chief — can only be identified by the first Hebrew letter of his name, “Resh,” until he enters office.

Though the committee will look into the claims against Resh, its attitude toward anonymous allegations is generally skeptical, Channel 12 said. The network added that several similar letters about Resh have been sent to the committee since 2019.

The claims made in those previous letters were already examined within the Shin Bet, and little evidence was found to substantiate them, according to Channel 12.

Unnamed confidants of “Resh” told the network, “It’s unpleasant but we’ll get past it. There’s a last-minute attempt here to have his entrance into the position start off on the wrong foot.”

Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman (left) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 11, 2021 (Courtesy)

When news of the anonymous letter against Resh broke on Wednesday, the Shin Bet chief nominee issued a statement to the media saying, “This is an anonymous letter that was written and sent about three years ago and is now being widely distributed. Behind the letter is an interested party who previously wanted to undermine two promotions.”

“The letter lacks factual basis, is full of lies and is also intended to again hurt my appointment. If required, evidence of this will be presented to the senior appointments committee,” the Shin Bet deputy said.

“Resh” must earn the approval of the Goldberg Committee and the government cabinet to be confirmed as Shin Bet chief and succeed Nadav Argaman on October 13. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett named him as the next Shin Bet chief in September.

Argaman has served at the head of the organization since 2016. One of Bennett’s first acts as premier was to extend Argaman’s tenure through October in order to enable more time to find a suitable successor.

“Resh” served in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Sayeret Matkal unit, the same detachment in which Bennett served, and then entered the ranks of the Shin Bet as a field agent. He was tapped to lead the Shin Bet’s Operations Division in 2011, became head of the service’s resource development department in 2016, and took over as deputy head of the organization in 2018.

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