For weeks, Israeli media has reported
that the incoming Shin Bet chief is “R.” He will assume his post next month. Under rules of military censorship, all agents of the intelligence agencies may not be named in the media, aside from the bosses. The outgoing Shin Bet director is Nadav Argaman, whose name I reported
was appointed to his position. Now, thanks to Palestinian Arabic-language report (reported here
without identifying him, by Israel’s Kan) I can name Ronen Berezovsky
, age 56, as his successor. According to the Palestinian account, he lives in Hod HaSharon. His address was even posted, though I am not including it (in English).
Haaretz offered this personal background:
R. [Berezovsky] has held a number of senior positions in the Shin Bet’s operations branch, where Argaman also served. Argaman appointed R. as his deputy two years ago.
R., 55, who is married and is a father of three, served as a combat soldier in one of the military’s elite units. After he was discharged from the army, he joined the Shin Bet.
R. completed his B.A. course in political science and philosophy from the Tel Aviv University and finished his M.A. course in public policy from Harvard.
The Arabic heading of the report says “Wanted.” This is undoubtedly the work of Hamas intelligence given the wanted poster format. In case anyone feels tenderly toward protecting his privacy, I remind you that yesterday the Shin Bet hunted down and murdered
five Hamas operatives in the West Bank. Of course, it claimed they were planning a terror attack. But that’s almost always the story offered in such situations. In many ways, the Shin Bet is as much a terror force as any Palestinian cell. So I offer Berezovsky no immunity. He should be known and named in order to be held accountable (here at least, if not by Israelis).
Given that several of the victims were killed in Jenin, it seems that the operation may have been either a follow-up or retaliation for any support offered to the Palestinian prison escapees who were captured in Jenin last week. The escape was a major black eye for Israel’s security apparatus, and the Shin Bet would have been eager to avenge those who caused such embarrassment, in order to re-establish its deterrent powers.