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last updated Jan. 19, 2010 11:30 AM (EST+7)
Tzipi Livni
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Israeli politics politics Kadima foreign affairs
Tzipi Livni is leader of Kadima, the largest party in the Knesset. Acting prime minister and minister of foreign affairs in the 17th Knesset. Since March 2009, she has headed the government's opposition.

News on Tzipi Livni
Israel, Palestinians strive for peace deal within nine monthsJuly 31, 2013
COMMENT: Politics not law protected Livni in UKOct. 11, 2011
Israel's Livni in Britain after war crimes law changeOct. 6, 2011


Livni was born in Tel Aviv in 1958. She is the daughter of Eitan Livni, who was a prominent member of the Jewish underground movement Irgun that fought against British rule. She served as a lieutenant in the Israeli military and later worked for the Mossad. She is a lawyer by profession and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. She practiced law in a private firm for ten years before entering public life. Her fields of specialization include commercial law, constitutional law and real estate law.

From 1996 Livni served as director general of the government companies’ authority. In this capacity she was in charge of the privatization of government corporations and monopolies.

In 1999, Livni was first elected to the Knesset for the Likud party, and served as a member of the constitution, law and justice committee, and the committee on the status of women. She also served as chairperson of the subcommittee responsible for legislation of the prevention of money laundering law.

Livni was appointed minister in 2001 and served as minister of regional cooperation and minister of agricultural and rural development. In the government formed in 2003 she held the portfolios of immigrant absorption, housing and construction, and justice and foreign affairs.

Livni became a close advisor to Ariel Sharon and supported the Gaza disengagement plan. She was a member of the Likud Party until the end of 2005 and left with Sharon and other prominent political figures to form the Kadima party. In May 2006 Livni was appointed acting prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. She also served as minister of justice from November 2006 to February 2007.

Following Ehud Olmert’s announcement in September 2008 to resign as prime minister and leader of the Kadima party, Livni became his successor.
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