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The Interior Minister (Hebrew: שר הפנים‎, Sar HaPnim), also known as the Minister of Internal Affairs is head of the Israeli Ministry of Interior and an important portfolio in the cabinet. The current Interior Minister is Eli Yishai of Shas. It should not be confused with the Internal Security Minister.

The position is often demanded by avowedly religious or secular parties as it allows them to control religious councils and planning (including the building of settlements), as well as religion and state issues such as civil marriage and immigration (which is affected by the Who is a Jew? debate). In recent years it has been held by Shas, an ultra-orthodox party, as well as Shinui and Yisrael BaAliyah, both secularist.

There is also occasionally a Deputy Minister of the Interior.

List of Interior Ministers

Name Party Governments Dates in office
Yitzhak Gruenbaum Independent Provisional 14/5/1948 - 10/3/1949
Haim-Moshe Shapira United Religious Front,
Hapoel HaMizrachi
1, 2, 3 10/3/1949 - 24/12/1952
Israel Rokah General Zionists 4, 5 24/12/1952 - 29/6/1955
Haim-Moshe Shapira Hapoel HaMizrachi 6 29/6/1955 - 3/11/1955
Israel Bar-Yehuda Ahdut HaAvoda 7, 8 3/11/1955 - 17/12/1959
Haim-Moshe Shapira National Religious Party 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 17/12/1959 - 16/7/1970
Golda Meir Alignment 15 16/7/1970 - 1/9/1970
Yosef Burg National Religious Party 15, 16 1/9/1970 - 3/6/1974
Shlomo Hillel Alignment 17 3/6/1974 - 29/10/1974
Yosef Burg National Religious Party 17 29/10/1974 - 22/12/1976
Shlomo Hillel Alignment 17 16/1/1977 - 20/6/1977
Yosef Burg National Religious Party 18, 19, 20 20/6/1977 - 13/9/1984
Shimon Peres Alignment 21 13/9/1984 - 24/12/1984
Yitzhak Peretz Shas 21, 22 24/12/1984 - 6/1/1987
Yitzhak Shamir Likud 22 6/1/1987 - 22/12/1988
Aryeh Deri Shas 23, 24, 25 22/12/1988 - 11/5/1993
Yitzhak Rabin Labor Party 25 11/5/1993 - 7/6/1993
Aryeh Deri Shas 25 7/6/1993 - 14/9/1993
Yitzhak Rabin Labor Party 25 14/9/1993 - 27/2/1995
Uzi Baram Labor Party 25 27/2/1995 - 7/6/1995
David Libai Labor Party 25 19/6/1995 - 18/7/1995
Ehud Barak Labor Party 25 18/7/1995 - 22/11/1995
Haim Ramon Labor Party 26 22/11/1995 - 18/6/1996
Eli Suissa Not an MK ¹ 27 18/6/1996 - 6/7/1999
Natan Sharansky Yisrael BaAliyah 28 6/7/1999 - 11/7/2000
Haim Ramon One Israel 28 11/7/2000 - 7/3/2001
Eli Yishai Shas 29 7/3/2001 - 23/5/2002
Ariel Sharon Likud 29 23/5/2002 - 3/6/2002
Eli Yishai Shas 29 3/6/2002 - 28/2/2003
Avraham Poraz Shinui 30 28/2/2003 - 4/12/2004
Ophir Pines-Paz Labor Party 30 10/1/2005 - 23/11/2005
Ariel Sharon Kadima 30 23/11/2005 - 4/5/06 ²
Roni Bar-On Kadima 31 4/5/06 - 4/7/07
Meir Sheetrit Kadima 31 4/7/07 - 31/3/09
Eli Yishai Shas 32 31/3/09 - present

¹ Although Suissa was not an MK at the time, he was later elected to the Knesset for Shas.

² After Ariel Sharon's stroke, Deputy Interior Minister Ruhama Avraham fulfilled the position's duties.

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Deputy Ministers

Name Party Governments Dates in office
Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir National Religious Party 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 28/12/1959 - 15/12/1969
Yosef Goldschmidt National Religious Party 15 22/12/1969 - 16/7/1970
Yosef Goldschmidt National Religious Party 15 19/7/1970 - 1/9/1970
Rafael Pinhasi Shas 23 15/1/1990 - 11/6/1990
Salah Tarif Labor Party 25 27/11/1995 - 18/6/1996
David Azulai Shas 29 2/5/2001 - 23/5/2002
David Azulai Shas 29 3/6/2002 - 28/2/2003
Victor Brailovsky Shinui 30 5/3/2003 - 29/11/2004
Ruhama Avraham Kadima 30 30/3/2005 - 4/5/2006

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