Vote comes following disagreement between Gantz and Netanyahu over the latter’s proposal to nominate his confidant, National Security Advisor Ben-Shabbat, to head the security agency

Ministers Sunday voted to extend Nadav Argaman’s tenure as the chief of the Shin Bet security service by four more months.

Argaman’s tenure was set to end in May after heading the agency for 5 years, but will now last at least until September.

נדב ארגמן ראש השב"כ
Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)


This vote comes following a report by Ynet’s sister outlet Yedioth Ahronoth saying that Defense Minister Benny Gantz opposed attempts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to nominate his confidant, National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat, to head the security agency.

Ben-Shabbat is considered a close associate of the premier and his appointment as Shin Bet director may give Netanyahu control over an agency that is meant to be apolitical.

Former Shin Bet director Yakkov Perry denounced the political infighting, saying that “it is a shame the service has fallen into the mess that has been happening over other issues.”

בני גנץ עם בנימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Photo: AFP)


Regarding Ben-Shabbat’s candidacy, Perry said that “there definitely is a danger that the relationship between Ben-Shabbat and Netanyahu will become an unwelcomed variable in Shin Bet’s actions.”

Yedioth Aharonth resident analyst Nahum Barnea said Friday that “in his current role, Ben-Shabbat has become a political player. He is perceived as a Netanyahu associate. If he is chosen to replace Argaman, he will not be welcomed into the service with open arms — it is very likely that this will lead to many senior officials leaving the agency.”

מאיר בן שבת
National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (Photo: Mark Israel Salem)


“Unlike [Ben-Shabbat], the two other nominees [current Shin Bet deputy head R. and senior official R.] have never dabbled in politics and their approval will be welcomed,” he added.

“In addition, it should be noted that the new head of the agency has always served as deputy director beforehand. Ben-Shabbat was not a deputy — with his last role in the agency being in charge of its Southern District.”

As reported by Ynetnews