Our Pic of the Day features an Israeli Shabak operator posing with newly released hostage Andrey Kozlov on June 8, 2024. He was rescued in a daring daylight mission after spending 246 days in captivity after being kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

A Bit About Shabak

The Israeli Security Agency, known as Shabak (also known as  Shin Bet), is Israel’s internal security service. It is responsible for safeguarding state security, counter-terrorism, and counter-intelligence within Israel. Below is an overview of its history, structure, and functions:

History and Background


  • Year: 1949
  • Founder: Isser Harel, also the head of the Mossad and Aman (Military Intelligence).


  • The agency has evolved from a small organization focused on domestic intelligence to a comprehensive security service dealing with various internal and external threats.

Structure and Divisions

Shabak operates through several divisions, each with specific responsibilities:

  1. Counter-Terrorism: Focuses on preventing and responding to terrorist activities within Israel and the Palestinian territories.
  2. Counter-Intelligence: Deals with identifying and neutralizing foreign espionage activities.
  3. Protection and Security: Ensures the security of key political figures and important national institutions.
  4. Research and Technology: Develops and implements technological solutions to enhance security operations.

Key Functions and Operations

  1. Intelligence Gathering: Shabak collects information on potential threats through various methods, including surveillance, informants, and technological means.
  2. Counter-Terrorism Operations: The agency conducts operations to prevent terrorist attacks, including raids, arrests, and interrogations.
  3. Counter-Espionage: Identifying and neutralizing foreign spies operating within Israel.
  4. VIP Protection: Providing security for Israeli leaders and visiting dignitaries.
  5. Internal Security: Maintaining public order and safety within Israel.

Notable Operations

Shabak has been involved in numerous high-profile operations, including:

  • Intercepting Terrorist Attacks: Numerous foiled attempts of terrorism, saving countless lives.
  • Capturing Espionage Agents: Successfully identifying and detaining foreign spies.
  • Protection Missions: Ensuring the safety of Israeli and visiting foreign dignitaries.

Challenges and Controversies

Shabak’s operations, especially in counter-terrorism and interrogations, have sometimes sparked controversies and debates about human rights and civil liberties. The agency faces the continuous challenge of balancing security needs with democratic principles and legal constraints.