Danny Yatom is a former Major General in the Israel Defense Forces, having served in the Elite Sayeret Matkal Unit as operator and officer where he was awarded the “Medal of Distinguished Service”. He was the deputy commander of the force that rescued the hostages in a hijacked “Sabena” passenger plane. In 1972 he transferred to the armored corps and participated in the Yom Kippur War as a deputy commander of tank battalion. He rose through the ranks, and was appointed head of R & D with the rank of Brigadier General in 1982. He was appointed Military Secretary to Defense Ministers Moshe Arens and Itzhak Rabin (1983-1985) and in 1987 he was elevated to the rank of Major General. He served in the following positions as a Maj. Gen.: Head of the Planning Branch (1987-1991), GOC Central Command (1991-1993) and Military Secretary to both Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres (1993-1996) General Yatom participated in the Six days war, Yom Kippur war and the first Lebanon war and participated in all rounds of peace talks with Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians in the years 1993 – 2001.
In 1996 he was appointed head of the Mossad (the Israeli secret intelligence service) where he served until 1998.
Between 1999 and 2001 he was Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s Chief of Staff for Security and Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office. From 2001 until 2003 he was Chairman of Koor Metals Ltd. and in 2003 he was elected to the Knesset as a representative of Labour and was reelected in 2006. In the Knesset he served on various committees and chaired the special committee on Foreign workers. He was also head of the Soldier’s Welfare lobby and the Separation Fence Lobby.
He resigned from the Knesset in 2008.
Danny Yatom has a B.SC in Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Mossad)