Yossi Ginossar, Envoy to P.A., Dies

Published January 30, 2004, issue of January 30, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

TEL AVIV — Yossi Ginossar, a former senior Shin Bet official and a key envoy to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority for three prime ministers, died January 12 of cancer at age 58.

Ginossar served Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak as a liaison to Palestinian leaders, becoming particularly close to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

He was among the first Israelis dispatched by the government to open secret contacts with Arafat’s PLO in the mid-1980s. His Palestinian contacts would later lead to charges by critics that Ginossar, a businessman after leaving the Shin Bet, had benefited financially from his relationship with the PA.

Ginossar categorically denied the charges in a wide-ranging interview in the daily Yediot Aharonot last weekend.

Born in 1946 in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ginossar moved to Israel at the age of 11. He was transferred to the Shin Bet from an army desk job and rose through the service to become chief of its investigations bureau and its northern district, which included southern Lebanon.

He was forced to resign in 1985, along with agency director Avraham Shalom, after they and others were found by an inquiry commission to have orchestrated a cover-up of the killing of two captured terrorists.

After leaving the service, he went into business and served as a back-channel government envoy, first for the return of missing soldiers and later for contacts with the Palestinians. His business contacts in the Arab world, which continued during his service as a negotiator, led to charges of conflicts of interest against him and his business partner and fellow negotiator, the Middle East analyst Stephen P. Cohen. An inquiry by Israel’s attorney general found the charges groundless.

“Yossi Ginossar was a devoted contributor to Israeli national security over his whole life, both as a member of the security establishment and as an envoy to the Palestinian leadership,” Cohen said.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.