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Agent operator in the Shin Bet and a diplomat in the Abraham Accords: Meet "Maoz" - the new Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Israel today


Ronan Levy ("Maoz") has a unique life story in the diplomatic landscape • When he began to serve in the Shin Bet as a youth, he quickly revealed himself as a sharp "field animal" • During his years in the closet he also became known as an outstanding agent operator who specializes in reading people • In recent years he took a decisive part in promoting Avraham's agreements and even represented Israel in Sudan not before the establishment of relations was announced • Foreign Minister Cohen: "This is one of the most experienced and creative people, I have no doubt that his contribution will be dramatic"

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has never had such a director-general:

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced today (Sunday) the appointment of former Shin Bet officer Ronan Levy (48), known by the nickname "Maoz" as the ministry's next director-general.

"Maoz" has a unique life story, and certainly unusual in the diplomatic landscape.

He was born and raised in Moshavim near the city of Nativot.

Later, his family moved into the city and his parents still live there today.

In high school he moved to study at the "Wolfson" high school yeshiva in Be'er Sheva.

After his military service, he began serving in the Shin Bet, where he quickly moved from position to position. He turned out to be an "animal of the field". For example, when he arrived at the scene of the attack at the central station in Beer Sheva in 2015, he recognized the terrorist's family affiliation based on facial features alone , and without seeing any identification document. It later turned out that his diagnosis was accurate.

What spirit will "Maoz" bring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

(for illustration), photo: Contact

Operates sources in three arenas

At the same time, "Maoz" made a name for himself as an outstanding agent operator, among other things thanks to his high emotional intelligence and the ability to quickly identify the way of thinking of his interlocutors.

Due to the success he was unusually asked to serve in this position in three different arenas: Gaza, the Negev and a certain arena abroad.

At the beginning of the previous decade, he began to work closely with Meir Ben Shabat, who was then the commander of the southern region of the Shin Bet. Since then, the two have worked together in a series of positions. Hamas, after the "Tzuk Eitan" operation in 2014.

The team included representatives of about 15 government ministries and governmental authorities, whose mission is to stop the smuggling into Gaza, including the introduction of the dual-use materials and the funds that entered it.

"His work there was impressive. He managed to harness everyone to join hands for a task that was not easy at all. And the result was excellent. In those years, Israel drained Hamas," says a source familiar with "Maoz's" work.

The visit to Sudan

In 2017, Ben Shabat was appointed head of the National Security Council and placed "Maoz" in the position of head of a senior division and acting as the emissary for special missions. One of his main duties at that time was to foster relations with Egypt and prevent a flare-up between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with the assistance of the Egyptians.

"Maoz" managed to develop a reliable and close network of contacts with the Egyptians and bring pressure on Hamas to refrain from firing missiles at Israel, despite the fact that "demonstrators" sent by the organization to the border with Israel were killed almost every week by IDF soldiers. For this activity he received from the Chief of Staff The outgoing, Aviv Kochavi, a special certificate of appreciation.

In 2019 and 2020, with the strengthening of the relationship between Israel and the Arab countries and the breakthrough of the "Abraham Accords", "Mouz" played a decisive role in establishing ties with Sudan.

He went on secret missions in Sudan several times, during which he met the country's leadership, learned about its needs and forged the agreement that finally led to the Sudanese announcement on the establishment of ties with Israel.

As part of this activity, he began working with the then Minister of Intelligence, Eli Cohen, who was appointed by Netanyahu to coordinate the establishment of relations with Sudan.

During one of the visits, the two encountered a problem that almost caused a diplomatic incident.

The Sudanese hosts gave Cohen and "Maoz" a M-16 rifle as a gift, as a token of appreciation for their activities.

"Maoz" didn't want a rifle because it couldn't be put on the plane or brought into Israel, since it was a non-weapon.

But leaving the gift in Sudan would have hurt the hosts and might collapse the delicate agreements forged with it.

In the end, he found a possibility to put the rifle on the plane and bring it to Israel by dismantling the assembly.

At the same time as developing the relationship with Sudan, "Maoz" was a central factor in the establishment of ties between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, within the framework of the Abraham Accords. Together with Ben Shabat, he participated in the historic flights to the countries immediately after the announcement of the agreements and took part in talks between Israel and senior officials these countries.

Devotion alongside modesty

Along with his extensive activities, people who have worked with "Maoz" over the years praise his diligence and reliability, as well as the fact that he is a friendly person.

According to Ben Shabbat, "I have known Maoz for more than twenty years from our work in the Shin Bet and MLA. He has excelled in all his positions, thanks to his business-like approach, excellent interpersonal relationships, collaborative approach, systemic vision, leadership, investment and dedication to the limit End. All this on the side of modesty and a willingness to learn from everyone."

Foreign Minister Cohen said that "Ronen is one of the most experienced and creative people in connecting and strengthening international relations for the State of Israel, and he has proven himself in countless achievements, not all of which can be published. I have no doubt that as CEO, together with the professional and dedicated staff of the Ministry , the contribution to the status of the State of Israel in the world will be dramatic."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-01-15

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