Israeli intelligence agency Mossad Director Yossi Cohen used his international connections—some covert—to procure massive amounts of medical equipment and protective gear as part of the government’s efforts to compete in the global bidding war for supplies to contain COVID-19, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
Among these connections are Persian Gulf countries with no diplomatic ties with Israel, according to a report by Ynet.
Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the report says, Cohen has managed to purchase 2.5 million protective goggles (with an additional 5.5 million on the way); approximately 80 million simple surgical masks (with an additional 142 million on the way) and 1.3 million N-95 masks (with an additional 14 million on the way); 180 million latex gloves; more than 30 tons of disinfectant; some 1,300 ventilators (with another 4,700 on the way); 4 million protective vests; and more than 2 million COVID-19 test kits, most of which are from China and South Korea.
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For the past few days, the Mossad has been in the process of transferring responsibility for procurement of anti-coronavirus equipment to the Health Ministry, which reportedly will receive 3,500 Israeli-made ventilators within the next few weeks, and another 10,000 by October.
During a meeting with Cohen on Sunday—ahead of the transfer of operations to the Health Ministry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked him and the Mossad for having done “something extraordinary.”
“The results speak for themselves,” Netanyahu said.
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