Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen decided recently on an extensive round of appointments in the internal security service that will see almost all of its top officials replaced, including the deputy director, the head of the intelligence division (no. 3 in the organization), three sub-district heads and most of the other department heads.
Barring any unexpected developments, the deputy director's three-year term is expected to end, but he will most likely present his candidacy for the post of Shin Bet director in 2016 or 2017. He may find himself running against a current department chief who is due to replace him as deputy director.
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The head of the southern sub-district, which is responsible for Gaza and the borders with Egypt and Jordan (in the Arava) will also be replaced next summer. The Jerusalem sub-district will be headed by "A" – who has worked closely with Cohen for many years.
Cohen already held a round of appointments as soon as he took over for former Director Yuval Diskin. At the time people claimed he was trying to create a comfortable working environment.
The current round of appointments, which will take place two year's before the end of Cohen's term (unless his term is extended by an additional year) is part of the director's goal to leave his mark on the organization.
Cohen's critics claim the personnel changes are too conservative and project leadenness.
The prime minister has the authority to extend the Shin Bet director's term by one year.
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