New Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen sworn into office

Cohen enters office after serving as National Security Advisor for Prime Minister Netanyahu; PM: Our strength depends on the willingness of the best of our sons and daughters to bear the yoke of responsibility in order to ensure the life, freedom and prosperity of the nation

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Cohen, Netanyahu & Pardo (GPO)

Israel’s new Mossad Chief, Yossi Cohen, was sworn into office, replacing Tamir Pardo.

Cohen previously served as National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu since August 2013. Cohen has been a member of the Mossad for over 30 years, serving internationally and as deputy director under his predecessor Tamir Paro for two years before serving as National Security Advisor.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech welcoming Cohen, stating, “Over the past two and a half years, you served at my side as national security adviser and head of the National Security Council. I had the opportunity to be impressed by your abilities, your comprehension of the arena in which the State of Israel is found, your control of the full range of relevant issues, and your excellent contacts with those near and far, some of whom maintain their distance from us but I saw how you found a way to draw them closer. I am convinced that you will be able to move the Mossad forward and raise the quality of its work even higher. The challenges… will not wait for you, as you know, as you all certainly know… The head of the Mossad bears a vast responsibility. But this is the essence of the story of our people over the generations, especially in the years of our national revival. Our strength depends on the willingness of the best of our sons and daughters to bear the yoke of responsibility in order to ensure the life, freedom and prosperity of the nation.”

Ahead of entering his post, Cohen stated earlier this week that Iran still remains the greatest challenge to Israel’s security, even more so following the nuclear agreement made with world powers. He stated “A major challenge is the Iranian threat which, despite the nuclear deal – and I think because of it – has become more significant” and that the Islamic Republic “continues to call for Israel’s destruction, intensifies its military capabilities and strengthens its hold on the region. Its terrorist affiliates are the means to achieve these goals.”

Cohen additionally stated that the spread of radical Islam and terrorism are”taking over countries and causing them to collapse. The inter-religious war within Islam and the strengthening of terror organizations around us require the Mossad to study the threats in depth and stop them.”