Shin Bet (Sherutei Ha-Bitahon, in Hebrew)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

SHIN BET (Sherutei ha-Bitahon, in Hebrew)

Israeli General Security Service. Succeeding Shai, the Haganah intelligence service, Shin Bet was created in June 1948 and is responsible for the internal security of the State of Israel. Also nicknamed Shabak, it has been shaken by scandals that have revealed the extreme methods its members use in dealing with Palestinians. In December 1980 its head quit after an investigation revealed that members of his organization had been implicated in anti-Arab attacks. In April 1984 two Shin Bet agents killed two Palestinians who had hijacked an Israeli bus, beating them with rocks. In 1995 an inquest into the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin uncovered many failings in the functioning of Shin Bet, leading to the resignation of a number of its leaders. The directors of Shin Bet have been: Isser Harel (1948–1953), Amos Manor (1953–1963), Yosef Harmelin (1963–1974), Avraham Ahituv (1974–1981), Avraham Shalom (1981–1986), Yosef Harmelin (1986–1988), Jacob Peri (1988–1994), Karmi Gilon (1995–1996), Ami Ayalon (1996–2000), and Avraham Dichter (2000–).

SEE ALSO Haganah; Harel, Isser.