Identity of Ex-shin Bet Head Revealed in Israeli Newspapers

The identity of the former head of Israel’s domestic Shin Bet intelligence agency was made public last week.

Ya’acov Perry, 51, a Tel Aviv native who grew up in Netanya, recently left the top Shin Bet post, which he held for seven years.

Israeli newspapers published photographs and laudatory articles on the man whose identity, according to policy, had been a closely guarded secret.

Perry recently was replaced by a man identified only as “K.” The new head, whom Perry recommended as his successor, had served as Perry’s deputy.

In 1966, Perry joined Shin Bet as an operative in the Arab department. He was appointed head of Shin Bet by then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Perry took over Shin Bet during one of its most difficult periods, the period after the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising, or intifada, in December 1987.

During this period, the agency was embroiled in controversy about both confirmed and alleged cases of abuse during interrogations. A commission formed to investigate these reports established standards for the use of moderate physical pressure during questioning.

Perry also directed the agency’s adjustment to the new realities of the self- rule accord signed by Israel and the Palestinians in September 1993.

In a personal letter to Perry, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin praised the outgoing head for his achievements and leadership skills in guiding shin Bet through its challenges.

Rabin also thanked Perry’s corps of “anonymous soldiers.”

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