The Complete History of Israel’s Intelligence Community: Mossad, Aman, and Shin Bet (1990)
The Film Archives
Published on Feb 14, 2014
The Mossad (Hebrew: הַמוֹסָד, IPA: [ha moˈsad]; Arabic: الموساد, al-Mōsād; literally meaning “the Institute”), short for HaMossad leModiʿin uleTafkidim Meyuḥadim
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(Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים, meaning “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”; Arabic: الموساد للاستخبارات والمهام الخاصة al-Mōsād lil-Istikhbārāt wal-Mahāmm al-Khāṣṣah), is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security). The Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism, as well as bringing Jews to Israel from countries where official Aliyah agencies are forbidden, and protecting Jewish communities. Its director reports directly to the Prime Minister.
The Directorate of Military Intelligence (Hebrew: אגף המודיעין, Agaf HaModi’in — lit. “the Intelligence Section”, often abbreviated to Aman) is the central, overarching military intelligence body of the Israel Defense Forces. Aman was created in 1950, when the Intelligence Department was spun off from the IDF’s General Staff (then, Agam: אג”ם); the Intelligence Department itself was composed largely of former members of the Haganah Intelligence Service (HIS). Aman is an independent service, and not part of the ground forces, navy or the Israeli Air Force.
It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Mossad (national intelligence) and Shin Bet (general security). It is currently headed by Major General Aviv Kochavi. It has a staff of 7,000 personnel (1996 estimate). Its special forces and field-reconnaissance unit is Sayeret Matkal.
Sherut haBitachon haKlali (Hebrew: שירות הביטחון הכללי, General Security Service), better known by the acronym Shabak (Hebrew: שב״כ, IPA: [ʃaˈbak], Arabic: شاباك), in English as the Israel Security Agency (ISA) or the Shin Bet (a two-letter Hebrew abbreviation of the name), is Israel’s internal security service. Its motto is “Magen VeLo Yera’e” (Hebrew: מגן ולא יראה, lit. “Defender that shall not be seen” or “The unseen shield”). It is one of three principal organizations of the Israeli Intelligence Community, alongside Aman (military intelligence) and the Mossad (foreign intelligence service). Shin Bet’s special operations unit is Yamas.
Image By Israel Defense Forces from Israel (Female Soldiers Unload their Weapons) [CC-BY-2.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/b…)], via Wikimedia Commons
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