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Israel Executive Branch: National Security Council

On March 7 1999, the Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved the Prime Minister's proposal to create a national security council. The council will serve as a coordinating, integrative, deliberative and supervisory body on matters of national policy, and will operate as an arm of the Prime Minister's Office.

The Cabinet took note of the Prime Minister's statement that he has appointed Major-General (res.) David Ivry to chair the Council and to serve as national security advisor. The Prime Minister said that no person in the State of Israel is more qualified to hold this very important post than Ivry. The Prime Minister will inform the Cabinet of other senior Council appointments when they are made.

As set forth in Cabinet decisions, the Council's objectives and functions are:

  • to serve as a national security staff attached to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet; the Council will derive its authority from the Government, and operate in accordance with the instructions of the Prime Minister. The head of the Council will answer directly to the Prime Minister; to function as a senior advisory forum for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on matters of national security;

  • to centralize an assessment of expected trends and processes, through integrating all strata of national security;

  • to direct integrative staff work between Government ministries and offices dealing with national security, receiving input on their various areas of responsibility toward increasing coordination and integration between them;

  • to prepare for discussions by the Cabinet, the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs and the Prime Minister, and to brief Knesset committees on these issues, in accordance with the instructions of the Prime Minister;

  • to make recommendations on national security policy to the Cabinet;

  • to engage in the long-range planning of national security components, with the assistance of existing planning bodies in those Government ministries and offices dealing with national security;

  • to monitor and update national security activities, and to look after the implementation of national security decisions, and

  • to maintain coordinative and cooperative relations with parallel national security officials in selected countries, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and its missions abroad, and in accordance with acceptable practice.

The Prime Minister ordered that the non-conventional weapons and ballistic missile threats be immediately addressed by the Council as its top priority.

Sources: Israeli Government Press Office