The man slated to take over as the head of the Shin Bet security service helped a motorist put out a fire while on his way for a meeting with a senior vetting panel which eventually confirmed his nomination Friday.
Photos from the scene showed the official, who may only be identified by the letter “Resh” for security reasons until he officially takes the post, holding a hose in front of a car as smoke rises from the scorched hood.
No one was reported hurt in the incident along Route 1, the main highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The fire was only the first “Resh” put out Friday, before continuing on his way to meet officials and managing to overcome unspecified allegations against him to get the nod for the post.
The panel approved his nomination despite an anonymous letter claiming misconduct by him, with the Goldberg Committee saying it did not find any “defect in the purity of the qualities of the candidate.”
The committee also said it did not find any issue the process that resulted in him being appointed.
Two separate claims were made in an anonymous letter presented to the panel, the specifics of which could not be detailed publicly due to security constraints.
The government is scheduled to vote Monday to okay his appointment. If approved, his name will be cleared when he replaces current Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman.
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“Resh,” who was accompanied by Argaman while appearing before the committee, was not asked to take a lie detector test, Channel 13 news reported.
“I believe in ‘Resh’s’ honesty and strong values, and I am convinced he will professionally lead the Shin Bet, while maintaining the dignified manner and values of the organization,” Argaman said on Friday following the committee’s decision.
“Resh” previously dismissed the letter against him as a three-year-old complaint spurred by “an interested party who previously wanted to undermine two promotions,” in a statement to the media.
Little is known about Resh, though details of his biography have begun to leak out as his nomination has progressed.
He served in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Sayeret Matkal unit, the same detachment in which Prime Minister Naftali 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, where he apparently had a good working relationship with Argaman.
“Resh” was described by colleagues speaking to the Walla news site as someone who remained cool under pressure while involved in battling Palestinian and Lebanese terror, and later while heading units that won plaudits for various security operations.
“He’s very creative. He doesn’t rest on his laurels,” a Shin Bet official was quoted saying.
According to Walla, he is 55 years old and a married father of three. He received an undergraduate degree in political science from Tel Aviv University and master’s in public administration from Harvard University.