| Avraham Ahituv |
December 10, 1930
|Died||July 15, 2009 (Age 78)|
Ahituv was born Abraham Gottfried in Germany in 1930, and immigrated to British-controlled Mandatory Palestine with his family in 1935. In1946 he joined the Haganah while a student in the Kfar Ha-Ro'eh seminary, where he completed high school. In 1949 he joined the Internal Intelligence Service, (SHAI), which was founded during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and later became the Shin Bet, Israel's security agency. During the conflict period he adopted the surname Ahituv.
Shin Beth leader
In the mid-1960s, Ahituv headed Shin Bet's Arab Affairs Department, which was responsible for counter-subversion in Israeli Arab communities following the end of military administration in 1966. The following year, he acquired responsibility for keeping order in the occupied territories, newly captured in the Six Day War. He worked closely with Yehuda Arbel to set up a network of informers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. There methods were of dubious legality but by December 1967, they had forced the West Bank headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to retreat to Jordan.
In 1974, he was appointed Shin Bet director. Along with Mossad chief Itzhak Hofi, he offered his resignation to Menachem Begin when the Likud leader became Prime Minister in 1977 but was asked to stay on by Begin who fostered a close relationship with his intelligence chiefs.
Following car bomb attacks on Palestinian mayors on 2 June 1980, Ahituv asked Begin for permission to plant agents among Jewish settlers. Begin, whose party had close links to the settlers, rejected the request.
- Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.169.
- Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.220.
- Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Every Spy a Prince: The Secret History of Israel's Intelligence Community, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, pp.245-246.