Shin Bet

Shin Bet ( שב ) is the short name of Israel's domestic intelligence agency in Tel Aviv, which was built in 1949. Shin ( ש ) and Bet ( ב ) are the initial letters of Scherut Bitachon ( German: "Security Service"). Another abbreviation of the secret is Shabak ( שב"כ ), an acronym for Shabak - Scherut haBitachon haKlali / i ( שירות הביטחון הכללי )? ( German: " General Security Service"). He is one next to the military intelligence service Aman and the foreign intelligence service Mossad Israeli intelligence. A former fourth message service Lakam was officially dissolved in 1986.


The tasks of the Shabak are:

  • Counterintelligence
  • Fight against terrorism
  • Intelligence Services Enlightenment anti-government organizations and individuals
  • Personal protection for important public figures
  • Protection of critical infrastructure and government buildings
  • Provision of intelligence information for counter-terrorism measures taken by the IDF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • Protection of Israeli embassies abroad
  • Protection of the state airline El Al


The personnel strength of the service is estimated to be about 5,000 full-time employees. However, it is assumed that a significantly higher number of informal workers ( informants ).

On 15 May 2005 took Juval Diskin, a former Shabak agent, the management of the Shin Bet. His predecessor, Avi Dichter, was released after five years with praise from his office.

In November 2003, four former heads of the Shin Bet, Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gilon and Ami Ayalon called on the Israeli government to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

On 28 March 2011 was appointed to the Shin -Bet - director Joram Kohen of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who so Juval Diskin replaces.


By 1987, the Israeli government denied that the Shin Bet and other state organs apply Deten torture. From 1987 to 1999 some forms of torture by the government were euphemistically called " moderate physical pressure" were considered legal, were not seen as a violation of the 1991 ratified the UN Anti-Torture Convention and systematically applied. In September 1999 the Supreme Court declared these interrogation methods illegal. But even after 1999 throw human rights organizations such as the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and B'Tselem the Shin Bet systematic torture of prisoners before the concrete cases are not pursued by Israeli courts, but either rejected as unfounded or the treatment of prisoners is justified. Human rights organizations such as the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel bring the Shin Bet and the Government, therefore, return to the practice of torture prior to 1999.

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the messaging service since 2009 also in the criticism because Shabak agents have made repeated identity checks at check-in for flights of Israeli airlines at the airport Berlin- Schönefeld, which in its way only by German security authorities in the exercise of state authority must be carried out.

About the practices of the Federal Security Service of the film director Dror Moreh has interviewed six former head of the secret service and from their statements, supplemented by Archival, 2012 the documentary " Kill first - Israeli intelligence " produced. The film was nominated in January 2013 for the U.S. Film Award Oscar in the category " Best Documentary ". In Israel, he came in early 2013 in the cinemas in Germany, he was seen in March on arte and the First.


  • Isser Harel (1948-1952)
  • Isi Dorot (1952-1953)
  • Amos Manor (1953-1963)
  • Yosef Harmelin (1964-1974)
  • Avraham Ahituv (1974-1981)
  • Avraham Shalom (1981-1986)
  • Yosef Harmelin (1986-1988)
  • Yaakov Peri (1988-1994)
  • Karmi Gilon (1994-1996)
  • Ami Ayalon (1996-2000)
  • Avi Dichter (2000-2005)
  • Juval Diskin (2005-2011)
  • Joram Kohen ( since 2011 )