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Tzachi Hanegbi ( , born 26 February 1957) is an Israelimarker politician and member of the Knesset for Kadima. A former Justice Minister, in 2006 he was indicted for making political appointments to civil service posts during his time as Environment Minister, despite his claims that it was normal practice.

Biography

Hanegbi was born in Jerusalem in 1957. His mother is Geula Cohen, a prominent member of the 1940s underground group Lehi and later MK for Likud and Tehiya. His father, Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer for the Lehi. After his military service in the paratroopers corps, Hanegbi studied international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalemmarker. As president of the Hebrew University Student Union in 1980, he received a six-month suspended sentence for leading a chain-wielding attack on Arab students. Despite this incident, he became president of the National Union of Israeli Students later that year, holding that title until 1982. After his undergraduate stuides, he went on to study law, obtaining an LL.B.

Hanegbi lives in Mevaseret Zionmarker, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Political career

Hanegbi was first elected to the Knessetmarker in the 1988 elections, and headed the Prime Minister's Bureau under Yitzhak Shamir. He retained his seat in the 1992 and 1996 elections, and was initially appointed Minister of Health in Binyamin Netanyahu's government, becoming Minister of Justice in September 1996 and dropping the health portfolio in November that year.

He lost his ministerial portfolio after Ehud Barak won the 1999 elections, but returned to government when Ariel Sharon won the special election for PM in 2001. Hanegbi was appointed Minister of the Environment in March 2001, adding the Transportation portfolio to his duties later in the year.

After Likud's convincing win in the 2003 elections, Hanegbi was initially appointed Minister of Internal Security. However, in September 2003 he was switched to the Prime Minister's Office portfolio after the corruption allegations came to light. It was later revealed that he had made 69 political appointments to the Environment Ministry, at least 51 of which were members or relatives of members of Likud's central committee.

When Sharon broke away to form Kadima in November 2005, Hanegbi was appointed interim chairman of Likud. On 6 December, 2005, the police decided to suggest his indictment to the Attorney General's office. On the following day, Hanegbi announced that he was also switching to Kadima, and resigned from the Knesset on 10 December. However, he reappeared in the Knesset in April 2006 after winning a seat in the 2006 elections. Currently he is the Chairman of the Knesset's Security and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Placed fourth on the party's list, he retained his seat in the 2009 elections.

Quotes

  • "As far as I'm concerned, they can strike for a day, a month, until death." — in reference to convicted Palestinian prisoners announcing a hunger strike.
  • "We have switched from defense to offense and in this battle all the members of the Hamas leadership are legitimate targets," Public radio, 23 March 2004.
  • "Where there is a fence, there is no terror. Where there's no fence, there is terror." — 31 August 2004, on public radio after the twin suicide bombings in Beershebamarker
  • "In his actions was a crude trampling of the law and of proper administrative rules, politicization of the public service, and the use of public resources to advance personal and political interests". Israeli State Comptroller and Judgemarker Eliezer Goldberg on Tzachi Hanegbi in his annual report, published 24 September 2004.


References

  1. Mazuz indicts Hanegbi for political appointments Jerusalem Post, 15 August 2006
  2. Tzahi Hanegbi: Political appointments are normative matter Haaretz, 5 October 2006
  3. Hanegbi's coming of age Haaretz
  4. Hanegbi charged over political appointments Haaretz, 2006
  5. Hanegbi's coming of age
  6. Hanegbi: Prisoners on hunger strike 'can starve to death' Haaretz, 14 August 2004


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