President Reuven Rivlin and Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen awarded certificates of outstanding achievement to 12 men and women of Israel’s Mossad espionage agency.
The traditional ceremony was held on Wednesday evening and included the lighting of the candles for the seventh night of Chanukah.
One of the certificates was awarded to an officer in the Tevel foreign relations division, a key member of the relationship between the Mossad and the Gulf states.
The citation notes her “ability to lead strategic processes and manage complex and sensitive relations that helped bring about significant projects, with determination and sensitivity.”
Israel has maintained covert relations with several Gulf states for decades, some of which have recently come to light following the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Another certificate was awarded to a collections officer, who has contributed to Israel’s national security for nearly 30 years.
The outstanding officer “completed a series of groundbreaking and significant operations this year that led to Israel gaining a comparative advantage.”
Another outstanding officer is a combatant who “learned the technological-operational sphere and quickly became a significant professional figure and source of knowledge.”
“Through commendably patient and methodical work, she led the technological-operation sphere and read significant technological achievements,” a statement on her achievements said.
Over the last year, she has been “a key partner in building a unique team and is a role model for young combatants.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed the event remotely, crowned the men and women of the Mossad as “the new Maccabees.”
“Like the men and women of the IDF and of our other security organizations, you are the Maccabees when, in our times too, there are those who rise up to seek our destruction,” he said.
Cohen highlighted the Mossad’s “significant role in the developments that came to fruition recently” in the peace accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
“Just as the Mossad works to foil the plans of Israel’s enemies, it constantly seeks opportunities for peace and cooperation and when it finds them, it works methodically and patiently to turn them into real and stable assets,” he added.