Twenty one-year-old Elad, who served in an Israel Defense Forces combat unit and resides in a kibbutz in southern Israel, has been dreaming about joining the Mossad for years.
On Thursday, following ongoing reports about the spy agency's link to the assassination of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, he decided to finally pursue his dream. "I ran to the computer and applied for a job on the organization's website," Elad said with excitement.
"I've always had a dream to work for the Mossad," he said, "It's obvious why – it's exciting, dangerous and special. Nobody really knows what people do there, and now I suddenly understand how it works – it's cool. I hope they accept me; I think I have all the required skills." As it turns out, there are many more just like him.
The Mossad website has become extremely popular in recent weeks, particularly its job openings page, through which one can apply for a position with the agency. Global media reports on Mossad's alleged involvement in the assassination of the Hamas commander has led to a soaring number of civilian applicants who wish to join the secret service.
The agency, which did not post any new job openings for over six months, posted a statement on February 12 – almost a month after the Dubai operation – that read: "You have an opportunity to create a reality in which you play the lead role. If you possess, intelligence and sophistication, you can make a difference and fulfill a national and personal mission. If you can engage, charm and influence people – you may have the qualities we are looking for."
Looking for new recruitsAs for the job requirements listed, the ideal candidate must hold an academic degree, diverse life experience, good communication skills, flexible thinking and creativity, curiosity, and the ability to work individually and in a team as well as good command of second language. A preference, the ad noted, would be given to those with a background abroad and willingness to leave for an immediate mission abroad, right after the training period.
According to media reports, the publication of the assassins' pictures exposed almost a third of the Mossad's "Kidon" hit team. Whether or not the reports are true, the agency is surely in need for some new recruits.
In many high schools around the country, the covert operation has become the main topic of discussion, said a high school teacher from Ashkelon. "My students only want to talk about this story. They keep looking at the pictures of the agents and the videos from the hotel. They can talk about it for hours; each student offers their perspective – it truly excites them," she said.
In a response on behalf of the Mossad, the Prime Minister's Office said, "We do not respond to media reports pertaining to the organization."
Matan Tzuri contributed to this report