Mossad chief has term extended


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended the tenure of Mossad director Meir Dagan by a year.

Dagan will enter his eighth year as head of the intelligence agency; the new term will end in 2010.

While the Cabinet was not required to vote on the decision, which Netanyahu announced at its regular meeting Sunday, the ministers mostly backed the extension, though several suggested that this be the last one.

Dagan has been credited with rebuilding the agency.

"This is an outstanding Mossad chief," Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said, according to Ha’aretz. "He rehabilitated the Mossad. It has returned to being one of the best intelligence agencies in the world, and this is largely his doing. Nevertheless, it is important that there be changes in its leadership — changes that would usher in a new spirit and new thinking."

Dagan reportedly was charged in 2002 with working to monitor and sabotage the nascent Iranian nuclear program.

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