The Israeli Intelligence Community (Hebrew: קהילת המודיעין הישראלית) is the designation given to the complex of organizations responsible for intelligence collection, dissemination, and research for the State of Israel. The organizations included are listed bellow, principal ones in bold.
|State of Israel|
Intl. Law · UN · US · Arab League
Israel Defense Forces
|Laws · Politics|
Law of Return · Jerusalem Law
Parliamentary supervision over the Intelligence Community is undertaken by the Subcommittee for Intelligence and Secret Services, a subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which supervises the entire Israeli Security Forces.
The issue regarding the suitable structure of the IIC, and questions as to dividing responsibilities and jurisdictions between Aman, Shabak, and Mossad, as well as the format of work for the three in relation to Prime Ministers and Ministers, all of these became agenda issues many times in the past. Various commissions and individual inspectors were appointed throughout the years, whether due to traumatic experiences or as a matter of routine, in order to examine the issues and propose recommendations. These were:
The government was tasked with the matter on a number of occasions and arrived at various decisions. The State Comptroller made the issue his agenda and submitted to the Knesset his findings and conclusions. In 1994, the Subcommittee for Intelligence also examined the questions and brought its recommendations before the Prime Minister.
The division of labour among the intelligence arms, Aman, Shabak, and Mossad, in the current structure of the IIC, is usually established upon a geographical basis. There are interfacing and overlapping segments, often rather wide, among the organizations. The level of coordination and inter-regional cooperation has suffered in the past from fundamental shortcomings, which has hindred the effectiveness of intelligence work on several fronts. The organizations repressed the necessity for the mutual sharing of intelligence information and in synchronizing some activities.
There are still open-ended issues remaining to be discussed, including disputed ones, as to the division of jurisdictions and inter-regional sectoral boundaries. In a document known as the "Magna Carta," the heads of the three services continue their attempt to arrive at agreements regarding these. The Intelligence Subcommittee follows this discourse and examines the steps required to practically settle key areas of dispute. If needed, the Subcommittee could become actively involved in the matter so as to ensure appropriate and reasonable standards for overall intelligence work in Israel.
The historical development of the IIC destined Aman with a range of activities and tasks that are conventionally outside the realm of military intelligence in the West, such as the responsibility for intelligence research in political matters and other markedly non-military affairs. This largely followed from the reliance by the State of Israel during its first years on the IDF as an anchor and mechanism to fulfill national tasks, it being a system with organizational capacities, resources, and available human resources. As such, Aman has assumed functions which ordinarily would be handled by other intelligence agencies. Accordingly, some critics say, there is a need to reexamine the position and placement assumed by intelligence bodies within the current structure, and transferring certain strategic and political areas and non-military ones, from Aman to a civilian intelligence authority.
The Commission to investigate the intelligence network following the War in Iraq maintained that, notwithstanding the historical consolidation behind the current IIC structure, and despite the advantages gained by Aman's Research Department and Unit 8200 during many years of service, it is finally time to restructure the IIC in accordance with a proper work distribution, professional designation, as well as a correct constitutional and legal frame of reference.
The Commission recommended on reforming the current IIC structure, ending up with three or four independent intelligence services, alongside the National Security Council, with the distinction between them being based upon the respective spheres of responsibility of each service: