Meir Dagan
Photo: Yaron Brener

Sources allege nepotism in former Mossad chief's business

Meir Dagan's intention to set up a handgun plant in Beit Shemesh enountered objection from local police academy, subsequently withdrawn. Did his friendship with interior defense minister help?

Sources alleged that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan used his personal connections with a minister to get permits for a gun factory in Beit Shemesh.


Dagan, who was the director of Israel's national intelligence agency between 2002 and 2011, seeks to set up a munitions plant in close proximity to the headquarters of a police academy branch. The company in charge of the project, Maoz Shimshon, is headed by Dagan's son Dan. According to plan, the plant would include a 17-stand shooting range for the testing of handguns.


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Police at first raised objections to the plan, saying the noise issuing from the shooting range would clash with the academy's activities. Subsequently, following two meetings between senior police officials and defense ministry director general, the former have withdrawn their complaint. A police source told Yedioth Ahronoth that police have no problem with the shooting range, so long as it satisfies their acoustic demands.


However some parties are not satisfied, saying the only way Maoz Shimshon could have achieved the about-face was by working his contacts with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. A local planning and construction committee received an order to ratify the lease of the ground on which the plant is to be set up to Maoz Shimshon.


Moreover, an official with the committee claimed that not only will the noise levels issuing from the factory interfere with the academy, but there are also other problems, including that it will clash with a planned sewerage facility in the area.


Dagan said in response the fact the minister is his personal friend has nothing to do with the permits given to his son's company. He added the only party to begrudge the arrangement is Policity, a firm specializing in shooting ranges working with police.


"We obey all the rules. I am investing my own money there and I have no intentions of inconveniencing the police in any way. Any objections to the project stem from extraneous considerations," Dagan said.



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פרסום ראשון: 05.22.13, 17:22
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