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JERUSALEM, May 24 (Reuters) – A veteran Mossad agent, who according to Israeli media has specialized in recruiting agents to work against Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, was appointed the new head of the intelligence agency on Monday Israeli.
David Barnea, 56, and currently deputy director of Mossad, will replace Joseph (Yossi) Cohen early next month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
Cohen resigns after more than five years at the helm of Mossad, during which he was closely involved in raising Israel’s awareness of the Gulf Arab States which resulted in peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain the year last.
Barnea joined Mossad in 1996 as a Case Officer. From 2013 until his 2019 appointment to Mossad’s second post, he was in command of its Tzomet division, which Israeli media reports recruit and direct agents.
The Haaretz newspaper said that as Tzomet’s commander, Barnea was responsible for enlisting agents against the Mossad’s priority targets, Iran and Hezbollah.
Iran has accused the Mossad of being behind the assassinations of nuclear scientists and military commanders as well as the sabotage of uranium enrichment facilities which Israel says are part of a program to produce atomic weapons .
Tehran denies wanting to build nuclear weapons.
Barnea’s name and position in the Mossad could not be reported in Israel under military censorship rules until the Prime Minister’s Office announced his new appointment.