חשיפה: פרשת מעילה בשב”כ; נחקר חשד כי לפחות רכז אחד גנב כספים שנועדו לתשלום למשת”פים פלסטינים
Israel has been abuzz for the past two weeks with news of a major intelligence scandal portrayed by the media as a severe breach of national security. Though a judicial gag order prohibited reporting even the name of the agency, with the help of Israelis collaborating with me, I was able to determine the scandal involved the Shabak. But I still didn’t know what was its nature.
“Interrogations with the collaborator [Shabak informant] F. Y., who was caught after the war on Gaza in 2014, indicated that the Israeli Shabak officer responsible for him was stealing the financial rewards allocated to him.
The collaborator said that during his meeting with this officer in one of the sea resorts in Israel, a higher Shabak official was present, and asked him about his financial condition or if he needed some money. Then he asked him if he received the money that was sent in the past.
In turn, the collaborator denied that he had received any money from the agent in direct charge of him [who ran him]. This angered the senior agent, who began shouting in Hebrew at the officer [his subordinate]. The collaborator didn’t understand what he said, but he realized that the officer was stealing the money allocated to him.
What’s astonishing about this is that Palestinian collaborators are essentially dead men walking. They have a half-life shorter than francium (that is, 22 minutes). Often the only reason for betrayal is the financial reward. So this greedy agent not only endangered his informant’s life, he didn’t even offer him the only inducement Israel could offer to justify his betrayal. The fact that Hamas is reporting the story appears to indicate either the informer turned triple agent and informed on Shabak to Hamas; or that Hamas exposed him. In which case, he really is a dead man who won’t be walking for long.
If you’re inclined to doubt Hamas, (which tends to be more reliable than official Israeli security sources), note that Walla reported in a vague way that Shabak refused to make a statement about scandals during the past few years in which agents embezzled funds. An astute Israeli reader would sense this was a surreptitious reference to a current scandal. Otherwise, what would be newsworthy about reporting on a scandal of “years ago?”
Walla even noted that such scandals are investigated by the police internal affairs division in secret. Which would explain the circuitous, tip-toe nature of the reporting on the case.
Ironically, Shabak’s motto is “the protector who is unseen.” The agency attempted in vain to maintain this scandal in the shadows. It sought to hide a dirty agent from the Israeli public. But now the scandal can be fully seen, as it should be. Remember that saying: sunlight is the best disinfectant? Many Israelis don’t believe that, most of the all the security services. I embrace a different standard.
There is precedent for such charges against Israeli agents. In the 1990s, Mossad agent, Yehuda Gil, decided to concoct a Syrian source under pressure from his superiors to “turn” a genuine Syrian intelligence agent. Once, Gil told the Mossad that his informant warned the Syrian army was preparing to attack Israel. His imaginary source was considered so authoritative that the IDF mobilized, expecting a real attack. Israel came within a hair’s breath of genuine war caused by a poseur agent. After Gil was exposed and arrested, investigators found $40,000 in funds intended for the fake agent he had concocted to impress his superiors.