A Katsa is a field intelligence officer of the Mossad,[1] the national intelligence agency of Israel. The word katsa is a Hebrew acronym for Hebrew: קצין איסוף, romanizedktsin issuf, "intelligence officer", literally "gathering officer". A katsa collects information and runs agents, similar to a case officer of the CIA.


There are typically 30–40 katsas at a time, operating around the world, mainly in Europe.[citation needed]

Mossad Katsas often utilise Sayanim, singular: Sayan, (Hebrew: סייענים, lit. Helpers, Assistants) for their operations. The concept of Sayanim was started by Meir Amit.[2] They are recruited to provide logistical support for Mossad operations. A car Sayan running a rental agency, for instance, could help Mossad agents rent a car without the usual documentation.[3][4] Sayanim are often non-Israeli citizens but have full loyalty to the state of Israel and can be a dual national.[5][better source needed][6][better source needed] The usage of Sayanim allows the Mossad to operate with a slim budget yet conduct vast operations worldwide.[7] The support that Sayanim provide is unpaid.[8]


Katsas are organized under the Mossad Head of Operations, in a division known as Tsomet (intersection) or Melucha (kingdom). They are further split into three geographic branches:


In searching for candidates, the Mossad administers a variety of psychological and aptitude tests, as well as assessing their own current needs. If selected, a candidate must go through and pass the Mossad training academy, the Midrasha, located near the town of Herzliya. The Mossad academy is the official summer residence of the Israeli Prime Minister. There they are taught the tradecraft of intelligence gathering for approximately three years. The main priority of training is to teach katsas how to find, recruit, and cultivate agents, including how to clandestinely communicate with them. They also learn how to avoid being the subject of foreign counter-intelligence, by avoiding car and foot surveillance, by killing, and by preventing foreign agents from creating 'traps' at meetings. Once training is completed, trainees will spend an apprenticeship period working on varying projects before becoming full-fledged katsas.

In cultureEdit

  • The debut thriller of JD Wallace, Silent Cats: Deadly Dance, writes about the true story relationship of a CIA psychological operations officer and a Mossad Kidon Katsa. [9]


  1. ^ "Mossad's licence to kill". The Telegraph. 17 February 2010.
  2. ^ Thomas, Gordon (2015). Gideon's Spies: Mossad's Secret Warriors. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-0330375375.
  3. ^ Thomas, Gordon (17 February 2010). "Mossad's licence to kill". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  4. ^ Kahana, Ephraim (2006). Historical Dictionary of Israeli Intelligence (Historical Dictionaries of Intelligence and Counterintelligence). Scarecrow Press; Illustrated edition. p. 244. ISBN 978-0810855816.
  5. ^ Richelson, Jeffrey T. (15 February 2007). "The Mossad Imagined: The Israeli Secret Service in Film and Fiction". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 20 (1): 138. doi:10.1080/08850600600889431. S2CID 154278415. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  6. ^ Dajani, Jamal (6 December 2017). "Mossad's Little Helpers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  7. ^ Hallel, Amir (1 October 2004). "At home with the Mossad men". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  8. ^ "What if they are innocent?". The Guardian. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  9. ^ Wallace, JD. "SILENT CATS: Deadly Dance". Books: SILENT CATS.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Thomas, Gordon. Martin, Dillon. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7867-1295-3

External linksEdit