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Israel Table of Contents



Many observers regarded Israel's intelligence community as among the most professional and effective in the world and as a leading factor in Israel's success in the conflict with the Arab states. Its missions encompassed not only the main task of ascertaining plans and strengths of the Arab military forces opposing Israel but also the work of combating Arab terrorism abroad, collecting sensitive technical data, and conducting political liaison and propaganda operations.

The intelligence community had four separate components, each with distinct objectives. The Central Institute for Intelligence and Special Missions (Mossad Merkazi Le Modiin Uletafkidim Meyuhadim--commonly known as Mossad) had a mission analogous to that of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, being responsible for intelligence gathering and operations in foreign countries. The General Security Service (Sherut Bitahon Kelali--commonly known as Shin Bet or Shabak) controlled internal security and, after 1967, intelligence within the occupied territories. The prime minister supervised Mossad and Shin Bet. Military intelligence, the Intelligence Branch of the general staff (Agaf Modiin--known as Aman), had responsibility for collection of military, geographic, and economic intelligence, particularly within the Arab world and along Israel's borders. Military intelligence was under the jurisdiction of the minister of defense, acting through the chief of staff. The Center for Research and Strategic Planning, formerly the Research Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepared analyses for government policy makers based on raw intelligence as well as longer analytical papers.

Data as of December 1988