The Shin Bet (in Hebrew, שב"כ "shabak", an acronym of "Sherut Bitahon Klali" שירות ביטחון כללי), is the Internal (General) Security Service of Israel.
One of the Shin Bet's roles is to protect the lives of senior Israeli ministers and public servants (such as the president). The Shin Bet is also responsible for the prevention of funding underground movements and terror groups whose members are Israeli citizens (both Jews or Arabs). It accomplishes this goal using interrogations and secret agents.
The Shin Bet is most known for its role in the conflict against those it considers Palestinian terrorists. The Shin Bet produces intelligence which enables the Israeli Defence Forces(IDF) to thwart suicide bombings before they reach their destinations. The Shin Bet's intelligence has enabled the IDF to target senior leaders who they consider among Israel's enemies, mainly those of Hamas, but also of the Islamic Jihad, The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Fatah and even one Al-Qaeda linkman (Iad Al-Bik).
Some consider the quality and quantity of the intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet among the best of the world's secret service agencies.
In November 2003 four former heads of Shin Bet, Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon and Ami Ayalon called upon the Government of Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. .
See also: Israel Defence Forces, Mossad.