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Nawaf Massalha

(1943 - )


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Nawaf Massalha is an Israeli Arab politician and the first Muslim to hold a ministerial position in the Israeli Cabinet.

Massalha was born 1943 in Kfar Kara. A teacher by profession, he studied at Tel-Aviv University.

Massalha has first elected as a Knesset Member in 1988. From 1988 to 1992, he served as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, a position he filled against from 1996 to 1999. From 1992 to 1996, Massalha was Deputy Minister of Health, becoming the first Muslim to hold a ministerial position in the Israeli Cabinet. In August 1999, Nawaf Massalha was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Massalha also served as Director of the Arab Affairs Department in the Histadrut Federation of Labour, Member of the Histadrut Central Committee, and Member of the Labour Party Central Committee.

Massalha lost his seat in Knesset following the 2003 elections.

He is married, and has five children.


Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Photo courtesy of the Knesset

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