Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel this past week named an old army friend from a rival political party as his new home front minister, amid growing concern here about preparedness for the response to a potential attack on Iran this fall.
The new minister, Avi Dichter, a former head of the Shin Bet – Israel’s version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – will resign his Parliament seat and quit the centrist Kadima Party to join Mr. Netanyahu’s government. The current home front minister, Matan Vilnai, is becoming ambassador to China.
Mr. Dichter, 59, served with Mr. Netanyahu – and under the command of the current defense minister, Ehud Barak – in the elite special forces unit known as Sayeret Matkal. He spent his career in the Shin Bet before becoming its director in 2000 and left in 2005. The next year, he was elected to Parliament, and named minister of internal security.
“After long internal deliberations, which I haven’t hidden from anyone, I decided to accept the prime minister’s and defense minister’s request,” Mr. Dichter wrote on his Facebook page. “I chose to serve the country as best I can, just as I have in the 42 years since I enlisted in the military.”
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