Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Security Agency (ISA) Director Nadav Argaman on Monday participated in the ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Prize for outstanding ISA achievements in 2019. The event took place at ISA headquarters. The prize is awarded to honor operations or projects in the intelligence/operational fields that demonstrated excellence, professionalism, exceptional creativity, planning, professional and flawless execution, and had a result that made an important and effective contribution to the agency’s objectives in the field of intelligence collection and thwarting threats.
Six groundbreaking operations were honored at the ceremony, with certificates of merit awarded to male and female ISA employees who took part in the operations. Representatives of other security-related bodies that act jointly and in cooperation with the ISA also participated in the ceremony. The operations chosen for the prize were intelligence, technological and preventive ones carried out over the past year in various arenas.
In his speech at the ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The most important thing is, first of all, life itself, and afterwards the quality of life. You take care of these two things together - saving lives in hundreds of cases. Hundreds of Israelis, maybe even more, were saved thanks to your actions. Quality of life is a feeling of security that extends beyond the immediate question of who was hurt, and in saving lives you also create a feeling of security, which is not a given in our country.”
Netanyahu added that “In the end, the biggest objective is to overcome the Iranian threat – which is a conventional, as well as a nuclear and terror threat. To overcome it just as we overcame the great threat of Pan-Arabism. We can do it, and we have proven it. Our determination to struggle for our future and to eliminate our enemies must be much stronger than theirs. Go and succeed. Thank you very much.”
ISA Head Argaman said in his speech at the event that “The past year was a year full of security-related challenges in all of the arenas in which we operate. During the year we thwarted more than 560 significant terrorist attacks including ten suicide attacks, four kidnapping attacks and more than 300 shooting attacks. These [thwarting operations] were made possible thanks to each and every one of the agency’s workers. Thanks to the investment, the determination, the perseverance, the professionalism and the creativeness that characterize your deeds, our deeds. Among all of the deeds, all of the achievements, we needed to choose those deserving of special recognition – and the choice was not easy. The special deeds for which you are honored today could not have happened without the determination and the aspiration for excellence that is in you. The excellence also contains the component of innovation and creativity. The ability to create out of nothing, to think beyond the boundaries of what is known, to believe in ideas - even if it appears outrageous at first - and not desist due to the difficulties that the path brings. In this test you succeeded as well, and you proved to all of us that the sky is the limit.”