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Ami Ayalon

(1945 - )

Ami Ayalon is an Israeli politician, previously head of the Shin Bet and commander-in-chief of the Israeli Navy.

Ayalon (born June 27, 1945) was born in Tiberias during the British Mandate over Palestine. He received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Bar Ilan University in 1980 and an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1992.

Ayalon served his entire military service in the Israel Navy, from his enlistment in 1963, volunteering for the navy commando unit. In 1969, Ayalon was decorated with the Medal of Valor, Israel's highest award. In 1979, Ayalon was appointed commander of the navy commando. Receiving the rank of admiral, he served as commander of the Israel Navy from 1992-1996.

From 1996-2000 Ayalon served as Director of the Israel Security Agency, and from 2001-2005  as Chairman of the Board of the Netafim irrigation company.

A Member of Knesset since April 2006, he served as a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense, Ethics, State Control, Labor, Welfare, & Health, and Foreign Workers committees. In September 2007 Ami Ayalon was appointed Minister without Portfolio.

Ayalon is married and the father of three.

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry