Avraham Shalom

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Avraham Shalom Bendor (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם שָׁלוֹם בֵּנְדּוֹר; July 7, 1928 – June 19, 2014) was head of Shin Bet from 1981-1986.[1] He resigned after being accused of ordering the killing of two Palestinian prisoners and organising the subsequent cover-up.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shalom was born in Vienna, Austria.[3] In 1939, he moved with his family to what was then Mandatory Palestine.[3] In 1946, he joined the Palmach and later fought in the battle of Mishmar HaEmek amongst other battles.[1]

Shin Bet[edit]

He joined the Shin Bet in 1950, and participated in the capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960.[3] He was eventually appointed to the head of the Shin Bet in 1980.[1][3]

Kav 300 affair[edit]

Main article: Kav 300

After the hijacking of a bus from Tel Aviv on 12 April 1984, it was reported that all four hijackers had been killed.[4] However, following publication of pictures taken at the scene it emerged that two surviving hijackers were questioned by Brigadier General Yitzhak Mordechai and then handed over to Shin Bet agents who executed the prisoners—allegedly on the orders of Shalom.[5][6]

During the subsequent investigation, Shalom led a cover-up in the Shin Bet that implicated Mordechai as responsible for the killings. In 1985, General Mordechai was put on trial but his acquittal led to questions being asked about Shalom's role.[7][8]

The cover-up caused internal disorder and dysfunction within the Shin Bet,[9] but only became public when in May 1986 Attorney-General Yitzhak Zamir resigned after attempting to pursue a course of holding Shalom to account for falsifying evidence.[10]

In June 1986, Shalom offered his resignation in exchange for a pardon from President Chaim Herzog.[3] Herzog controversially issued pardons to Shalom and four other Shin Bet officers.[10]

In July 1986 during a high court appeal against the pardons it was revealed in a letter of application for pardon that Shalom claimed that all his actions were "authorised and approved". This placed responsibility on his immediate superior, the Prime Minister at the time, Yitzhak Shamir.[11] Shamir denied the blame.[3] The supreme court upheld the pardons.[3]

After leaving the Shin Bet, Shalom became an advocate for peace with the Palestinians, criticizing prime minister Ariel Sharon's negotiations with Yasser Arafat.[3] He later appeared in the film The Gatekeepers, where he described his experience in the Shin Bet.[3]


Shalom died at the age of 86 on June 19, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Avraham (Shalom) Ben-Dor , profile on ISA website
  2. ^ "Former Shin Bet chief Avraham Shalom dies at 86". JPost. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bernstein, Adam (2014-06-19). "Avraham Shalom, former chief of Israel's domestic intelligence agency, dies at 86". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  4. ^ The Times (London), Friday 13 April, Tuesday 17 April 1984.
  5. ^ Michael Keren (1995) Professionals against populism: the Peres government and democracy SUNY Press, ISBN 0-7914-2563-0 pp 32-33
  6. ^ "Newly released papers reveal how Shin Bet tried to hide 'Bus 300' killings", 27 Sept 2001, Haaretz.com
  7. ^ Middle East International, issue 276, page 5. Peretz Kidron.
  8. ^ Michael Keren (2002) Zichroni v. state of Israel: the biography of a civil rights lawyer Lexington Books, ISBN 0-7391-0316-4 p 172
  9. ^ By Eur, Europa Publications Staff, Europa Publications Staff Europa Publications (2002) The Middle East and North Africa 2003 Routledge, ISBN 1-85743-132-4 P 512
  10. ^ a b Mideast File By Mekhon Shiloaḥ le-ḥeḳer ha-Mizraḥ ha-tikhon ṿe-Afriḳah Published by Learned Information, 1986 pp 592-593
  11. ^ Middle East International, issue 279, pages 8-10. Peretz Kidron.