By Erin Viner
The new head of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA, also known by its Hebrew acronym – the Shin Bet) has been serving as Deputy Director since 2018, since rising from previous positions as Head of Resource Development responsible for building up the organization in 2016, following recruitment to the internal intelligence organization in 2011 as Head of the ISA Operations Branch.
“In his many years of service on behalf of the security of Israel, he served in and commanded many operations in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, and Lebanon,” according to a government statement, adding that, “Over the years, Bar led operations and units that were awarded several Security Prizes.”
Bar joined the ISA after retiring from the Israel Defense Forces General Staff Reconnaissance Unit after serving in the elite Sayeret Matkal field intelligence-gathering unit, that is charged with conducting reconnaissance missions deep behind enemy lines to obtain strategic information, counter-terrorism or hostage rescue.
“Ronen is a brave fighter and a daring commander who, throughout his life, has dealt with the highest mission of all – defending the security of Israel. He risked his life for the homeland more than once,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett upon confirmation of Bar’s appointment.
Bennett himself reached the rank of Major in the IDF during his own military service, when he participated in many combat operations while also serving in the Sayeret Matkal, as well as the Maglan Special Forces.
“Ronen grew in the ranks of the organization and served it in various positions in which he contributed greatly to safeguarding the security of Israel and its citizens. As he takes up office as Director of the ISA, I am certain that he will move the ISA forward to achieve new heights of performance and excellence,” said the Israeli leader.
Bar reportedly responded, “I can only say thank you to the Prime Minister for both – trust and support, I look forward to working with our excellent employees.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated Bar in a Twitter post, writing, “we have known each other for many years, and I’m certain you will carry out your role with dedication, professionalism and bring the agency to new heights.”
Ronen Bar is the 55-year-old married father of three. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.