Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
Monday named former Mossad Assistant Director Tamir Pardo as the new chief of the organization.
Pardo will be replacing Meir Dagan, who served as the head of the Mossad for the past eight years.
Netanyahu noted that "Pardo has vast experience in the Mossad that spans over decades, and is the right person to lead the organization over the next few years, in light of the complex challenges facing the State of Israel."
The prime minister also expressed his deep gratitude to the outgoing chief, and mentioned his great contribution to the security of Israel.
Netanyahu said he is certain Dagan will continue to contribute to the State in different ventures.
Sources within the defense establishment said that Pardo is a commando unit alumni, "a very honest man, very 'square'" he is seen as one of the bravest men in the Mossad who has taken part in many daring ops and commanded a number of operational squads. "He is the salt of the earth" they said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated Pardo for the appointment. "I have known Tamir for many years, back from when we went on daring operations together. He is a professional man with vast operational experience, who is deserving of the job," Barak noted.
Pardo left the Mossad in a storm two years ago after Dagan expressed a clear objection to back his candidacy for the position.
Among the candidates for the position of Mossad chief were Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin – who will also end his term in the near future – and head of the IDF Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin.
Other names mentioned for the job were of IDF Generals Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Ganz, as well as Netanyahu's head negotiator in the effort to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, Hagai Hadasm, who announced that he is not interested in the position.
Pardo is married with two children, he has one son and one daughter and one granddaughter. He served in the elite commando unit 'Sayeret Matkal'. Perdo graduated from Tel Aviv University with a bachelor's degree in political science and history.
He served in the Mossad for 30 years in a wide range of roles within the operational departments and in the technology sector after being recruited into the organization in 1980.
In 1988 he was elected to serve as the head of the Mossad's operations department, a role he filled for four years.
When Meir Dagan took on the role of Mossad chief in 2002, Pardo was elected as deputy chief of the Mossad, he remained deputy chief until 2006. During the Second Lebanon War he was lent out to the IDF's General Staff HQ. In 2007 Pardo returned to the Mossad as deputy chief at the request of the Prime Minister and the Mossad Chief, he left the Mossad in 2009.