Panel Sets New Guidelines on Roles of Israel's Three Intelligence Agencies
A task force appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has recently submitted recommendations for redefining the division of the responsibilities of the country's three intelligence agencies, reported Haaretz newspaper.
"Currently, it is completely unclear which of the three agencies - the Mossad, the Shin Bet security service and military intelligence - has responsibility for preventing terror attacks," said the paper, quoting a source as saying.
About five months ago, therefore, Barak asked his counter-terrorism task force to prepare recommendations on the subject, said the paper.
The acting head of the task force, Yehiam Sasson, appointed Brigadier General, Elkana Harnof, to draft the document, and Harnof recently submitted his recommendations to the heads of the three agencies, Haaretz added.
"Harnof proposed that the Shin Bet be responsible for any terror threat whose source is in Israel or in areas of the West Bank and Gaza controlled by Israel, while the Mossad would be responsible for any threat originating overseas," said the source.
According to this proposal, "if the Palestinian Authority becomes an independent state, responsibility for preventing terror attacks originating within its borders would therefore be transferred from the Shin Bet to the Mossad and military intelligence," said the paper.
According to Haaretz, although this proposal seems straight forward, it was not easy to get the intelligence agencies to agree to it.
Many intelligence officials had wanted the division of responsibility to be based on the source of the information, said the paper.
"If, for instance, a Mossad informant overseas got wind of a terror attack being planned in Gaza, the Mossad would be responsible for dealing with it, so that it could avoid any action that would compromise its source," added the source - Albawaba.com
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