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Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced today (Sunday) that he has decided to appoint Ronan Levy ("Ron Maoz") as Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Levy will replace veteran diplomat Alon Oshfiz who announced his retirement this morning.
why is it important
Levy served between 2018 and 2020 as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's and Chief of Staff for National Security Meir Ben Shabat to the Arab world and Africa and was a "shadow man" who operated mainly in secret.
In the last 25 years during his service in the Shin Bet and the National Security Headquarters, Levi used the pseudonym "Ron Maoz" or "Maoz". Even some of the people who worked very closely with him did not know his real name.
Following his appointment, his true identity was revealed for the first time, as well as his image, which had been kept under wraps until today for security reasons.
Until now he was known as "Ron Maoz".
Ronan Levy (photo: official website, Rami Zarnagar)
Behind the Scenes
Levy, 48 years old, lives in a settlement in the south of the country.
He grew up in the southern region of the General Security Service, engaged in operating agents and reached the position of head of the Gaza Division.
He was behind a long series of operations and became one of the greatest Hamas experts in the Israeli security system.
In 2018, Levy moved to the National Security Headquarters and began to engage in secret relationships with countries in the Arab world and Africa.
Levy managed the secret contacts that led to the renewal of relations with Chad and Netanyahu's historic trip to the country in January 2019.
Levy, who speaks fluent Arabic, was intensively engaged in building the relationship with Sudan and organized the meeting between Netanyahu and Sudanese leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda in February 2020. This meeting paved the way for Sudan to join the Abraham Accords eight months later.
Together with National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, Levy forged an intimate relationship with Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Burita and the senior adviser to the King of Morocco, Fouad Al-Hima.
This relationship helped renew relations with Morocco in December 2020.
During his tenure at the National Security Headquarters, Levy was responsible for the relationship with Egyptian intelligence personnel regarding the Gaza Strip and the attempts to maintain calm.
He was also involved in the talks regarding the captives and the missing in Gaza.
During his tenure as Netanyahu's emissary, Levy got into a heated confrontation with the head of the Mossad at the time, Yossi Cohen, over the contacts he had with Arab countries.
After Levy's secret visit together with the head of the National Security Staff at the time, Ben Shabat, in Morocco, the Mossad took sanctions against him that made his work more difficult.
Conflicts also occurred between Levy, Cohen and Mossad officials regarding relations with Sudan and the transfer of Qatari money to Gaza.
what are they saying
"Ronen Levy 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 office, the contribution to the status of the State of Israel Israel in the world will be dramatic," said Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs