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Israeli Foreign Ministry

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Israeli Foreign Ministry

Coordinates: 31°46′57″N 35°12′06″E / 31.782596°N 35.201719°E / 31.782596; 35.201719

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Hebrew: משרד החוץ‎, Misrad HaHutz; Arabic: وزارة الخارجية‎) is one of the most important ministries in the Israeli government. The ministry's role is to implement Israel's foreign policy, and promote economic, cultural, and scientific relations with other countries.[1]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located in the government complex in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. The current Foreign Affairs Minister is Binyamin Netanyahu after the former minister Avigdor Lieberman was forced to leave this post due to charges against his person and an ongoing trial.


In the early months of 1948, when the government of the future State of Israel was being formed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was housed in a building in the abandoned Templer village of Sarona, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Moshe Sharett, formerly head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, was placed in charge of foreign relations,[2] with Walter Eytan as Director General.

Diplomatic relations

Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 160 countries. It operates 70 embassies, 18 consulates-general and 5 special missions: a mission to the United Nations (New York), a mission to the United Nations institutions in Geneva, a mission to the United Nations institutions in Paris, a mission to the United Nations institutions in Vienna and an ambassdor to the European Union (Brussels).[3]

In October 2000, Morocco, Tunisia and the Sultanate of Oman closed the Israeli offices in their countries and suspended relations with Israel. Niger, which renewed relations with Israel in November 1996, severed them in April 2002. Venezuela and Bolivia severed diplomatic ties with Israel in January 2009, in the wake of the IDF operation against Hamas in Gaza.[3]

Foreign ministry building

The new building of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiryat Ben-Gurion, the government complex near the Knesset, was designed by Jerusalem architects Kolker, Kolker and Epstein in association with Diamond, Donald, Schmidt & Co. of Toronto. The building consists of three wings: One houses the offices of the Foreign Minister and director-general, another houses the diplomatic corps and the library, and the third is used for receptions.[4] The outside walls of the reception hall incorporate onyx plates that diffuse an amber light. In June 2001, the design won the prize for excellence from the Royal Institute of Architects of Canada.[5] The building is described as a "sophisticated essay in the play between solid and void, mass and volume, and light and shadow."[6]


The Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel (Hebrew: שר החוץ‎, Sar HaHutz) is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The position is one of the most important in the Israeli cabinet after Prime Minister and Defense Minister.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently serving as Acting Foreign Minister due to the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman.

List of Ministers

# Minister Party Governments Term start Term end Notes
1 Moshe Sharett Mapai P, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 15 May 1948 18 June 1956 Serving Prime Minister 1954–1955
2 Golda Meir Mapai, Alignment 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 18 June 1956 12 January 1966
3 Abba Eban Alignment 13, 14, 15, 16 13 January 1966 2 June 1974
4 Yigal Allon Alignment 17 3 June 1974 19 June 1977
5 Moshe Dayan Independent 18 20 June 1977 23 October 1979
6 Menachem Begin Likud 18 23 October 1979 10 March 1980 Serving Prime Minister
7 Yitzhak Shamir Likud 18, 19, 20, 21 10 March 1980 20 October 1986 Serving Prime Minister 1983–1984
8 Shimon Peres Alignment 22 20 October 1986 23 December 1988
9 Moshe Arens Likud 23 23 December 1988 12 June 1990
10 David Levy Likud 24 13 June 1990 13 July 1992
Shimon Peres Labor Party 25 14 July 1992 22 November 1995
11 Ehud Barak Labor Party 26 22 November 1995 18 June 1996 Not a Knesset member
David Levy Gesher 27 18 June 1996 6 January 1998
12 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 27 6 January 1998 13 October 1998 Serving Prime Minister
13 Ariel Sharon Likud 27 13 October 1998 6 June 1999
David Levy One Israel 28 6 June 1999 4 August 2000
Ehud Barak One Israel 28 4 August 2000 10 August 2000 Serving Prime Minister
14 Shlomo Ben-Ami One Israel 28 10 August 2000 7 March 2001
Shimon Peres Labor Party 29 7 March 2001 2 November 2002
Ariel Sharon Likud 29 2 November 2002 6 November 2002 Serving Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 29 6 November 2002 28 February 2003
15 Silvan Shalom Likud 30 28 February 2003 16 January 2006
16 Tzipi Livni Kadima 31 18 January 2006 1 April 2009
17 Avigdor Lieberman Yisrael Beiteinu 32 1 April 2009 18 December 2012
Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 32, 33 18 December 2012 incumbent Serving Prime Minister

Deputy Ministers

# Minister Party Governments Term start Term end
1 Yehuda Ben-Meir NRP, Gesher ZRC 19, 20 11 August 1981 13 September 1984
2 Roni Milo Likud 21 24 September 1984 20 October 1986
3 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 23, 24 26 December 1988 11 November 1991
4 Yossi Beilin Labor Party 25 4 August 1992 17 July 1995
5 Eli Dayan Labor Party 26 24 July 1995 18 June 1996
6 Nawaf Massalha One Israel 28 5 August 1999 7 March 2001
7 Michael Melchior Meimad 29 7 March 2001 2 November 2002
8 Danny Ayalon Yisrael Beiteinu 32 31 March 2009 18 March 2013
9 Ze'ev Elkin Likud 33 18 March 2013 Incumbent

See also

Israel portal


External links

  • Official website (English)
  • Official website (Hebrew)
  • Official website (Arabic)
  • All Ministers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Knesset website (English)

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