The Shin Bet prevented 500 terror attacks in 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday at an award ceremony honoring six groundbreaking operations and several Shin Bet agents who excelled in 2017 and 2018.
Among the operations highlighted were an operation to develop advanced technological capabilities in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML); an operation to prevent espionage against the State of Israel; an operation to obtain access to intelligence information; an operation to thwart dangerous terror cells; and an operation to develop covert methods and operational tools against a variety of adversaries.
"You have thwarted 500 terror attacks this year. It means that hundreds of Israeli citizens owe you their lives. I want to thank you for continuing to shine this light, and for fighting each day with discretion, ingenuity, creativity and immense dedication, I am proud of you," Netanyahu told Shin Bet agents.
Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman added that “We are celebrating Hanukkah today, the holiday of heroism that glorifies decisiveness, bravery, and faith in the justice of our cause, a holiday that testifies to a tradition of victories and accomplishments. The work we are celebrating today will not have been possible without the determination and aspiration for excellence inherent in you."
"Excellence requires an element of innovation and creativity, the ability to create something from nothing, to think outside the boundaries of what is known, to believe in an idea, even if it seems crazy at first, and hold on to it. You faced this test successfully and proved to us all that the sky is the limit," Argaman concluded.
The Prime Minister's Award is given once every couple of years, as an expression of appreciation to high-level planning of covert operations, impeccable performance of agents, and an outcome that makes a significant contribution to counterterrorism efforts and state security.