JERUSALEM, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Tamir Pardo as the next head of the Mossad intelligence service, Netanyahu's office said.
Pardo, Mossad chief Meir Dagan's deputy, "has a vast experience of decades in the Mossad and he is the right person to lead the organization over the next few years," said a statement released by Netanyahu's office.
Pardo, a close friend of the Netanyahu family, served in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit with the prime minister's brother, the late Yoni Netanyahu, who was killed in the Israeli commando raid on Entebbe to rescue hijacked Israelis in 1976, Haaretz reported.
Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised Dagan, who headed the Mossad for eight years.
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tasked Dagan with restructuring the intelligence agency after a series of mishaps and operational problems, The Jerusalem Post said.
Dagan's main objectives were preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and waging a "covert shadow war" against Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, the English-language daily said.