Israel has appointed a new head of its shadowy Shin Bet internal security agency.

In a statement from his office Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Nadav Argaman would soon head the organization. Argaman, 55, is the current deputy chief. He's been with the Shin Bet since 1983 and spent four years as its representative in the United States.

Netanyahu said he was confident the Shin Bet would "continue to safeguard Israel's security" under Argaman's leadership.

In his new position, Argaman will face pressure to quell a relentless five month-long wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis. The Shin Bet is Israel's domestic spy agency. The Mossad is its international equivalent.

Argaman will replace current Shin Bet chief Yossi Cohen. The statement didn't say when Argaman would begin his term.