Jerusalem, 15 May 2000

New ISA Director Assumes Post
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak yesterday evening (Sunday), 14.5.2000, in his Jerusalem office, held a ceremony for the new Director of the Israel Security Agency. He gave incoming ISA Director Avi Dichter his letter of appointment, and thanked outgoing Director Ami Ayalon for his service. Ministers, MKs, the Attorney-General, State Prosecutor and Israel Police Commissioner and current and former ISA officials attended the ceremony.

The Prime Minister noted that Director Ayalon took control of the ISA at one of the State of Israel’s most difficult moments, in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin:

"I believe that I speak for all prime ministers with whom you have worked, and on behalf of the entire people of Israel, that you carried out your job in an outstanding manner. You brought personal and moral authority and leadership to the job, put the ISA on the path of success, stabilization, security and direction while being able to handle the missions during a very difficult time. You are concluding a decades-long period of public-defense service. As someone who has known you for decades, I find it proper to thank you today for the entire period and to wish you success; it is my hope that the State of Israel will find a new way to benefit from your abilities and personality in the future."

Prime Minister Barak told incoming Director Dichter that he bears a heavy responsibility and that while he shares it with many talented people, he carries the ultimate responsibility. He added that after decades-long acquaintance with Mr. Dichter, he believes that he brings experience, professionalism, leadership, and moral stability and backbone with him. "I believe that you will know how to carry this burden and to move the ISA forward from the point at which you received it from Ami, and achieve new successes on behalf of the security of the people of Israel."