The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel.
Born in Tel Aviv, he spent his teen years in a Philadelphia suburb. He earned a B.S. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has studied political science at Harvard and MIT. Netanyahu is the author of two books on fighting terrorism and two on peace in Israel.
In 1967, he returned to Israel to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces' elite unit, "Sayeret Matkal," and took part in a number of military operations, including the dramatic 1972 rescue of a hijacked Sabena passenger jet. Codenamed "Operation Isotope," the rescue was led by future Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Netanyahu began his public service to the State of Israel as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1982. Subsequently, he became Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations (1984-1988).
Mr. Netanyahu was elected to the Knesset in 1988 and won the Likud party leadership in 1993. In 1996, Israelis directly elected their Prime Minister for the first time. Netanyahu won the election and served until 1999. After a brief hiatus from politics, Netanyahu was appointed Finance Minister in Ariel Sharon’s cabinet. He resigned in August, 2005 in protest to the withdrawal from Gaza. Netanyahu retook the leadership of the Likud party in December 2005.
Following the 2009 parliamentary election, in which Likud placed second and right-wing parties won a majority, Netanyahu formed a coalition government and began his second (non consecutive) term as prime minister. He then won an electoral victory in the 2013 elections for the third time, in the 2015 elections for a fourth time, and in the 2019 elections for a fifth time.
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