TEL AVIV, Israel — A "serious information security violation" forced Israel's Defense Ministry on Sunday to terminate thedirectorship of Yair Ramati, as head of the Ministry's Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO).

"Recently, a serious information security violation was discovered. As a result, Ramati can no longer continue to perform his duties in the Ministry of Defense," MoD announced Sunday.

Defense and industry sources described the security breach as involving classified information stored on Ramati's personal laptop computer.

The MoD statement noted that that the matter has been was turned over to "authorized parties," who will continue to deal with the case.

During Ramati's has served four years as IMDO director for four years, during which time Israel made enormous strides — together with partners in the United States — in developing and deploying Israel's four-layer active defense network comprised of Iron Dome, David's Sling, Arrow-2 and the Upper-Tier Arrow-3 together with partners in the United States.

The MoD statement praised Ramati for his "large contribution to the defense establishment" and wished him success in future endeavors. It noted several recent milestone test successes under Ramati's watch, which constituted "extraordinary achievements of global proportion."

As of Sunday, Col. Aviram Hasson, a longtime IMDO technical department head, is serving as acting director pending nomination of a full-time director.

In a Dec. 27 email to friends and colleagues, entitled "Conclusion of Assignment,", Ramati thanked all those who assisted him in successfully fulfilling his "challenging and important" post.

Ramati, an engineer, former program director and business development executive at state-owned Israel Aeospace Industries (IAI) prior to his IMDO post, noted that he would be evaluating "a number of opportunities in the technological-business sector."


Opall-Rome is Israel bureau chief for Defense News. She has been covering U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation, Mideast security and missile defense since May 1988. She lives north of Tel Aviv. Visit her website at

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