Ministers Bid Farewell to Mandelblit at End of His Term

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Ministers paid tribute to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday, who is set to leave the job this week after six years.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Mandelblit has filled a “great and significant” role. “We all owe you a debt of gratitude. On behalf of the government of Israel, I would like to thank you, Avichai, for many dedicated years of service to the State of Israel.”

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, attending the meeting virtually after contracting COVID, said Mandelblit had a “crucial role in maintaining the rule of law and the democratic regime in Israel.” Sa’ar praised Mandelblit saying he had remained professional while under “an open, long, continuous and unstoppable attack — and stood up for the truth.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Mandelblit has greatly “contributed to the security of the State of Israel, and to the preservation of democracy.” He said that Mandeblit withstood attacks on the justice system and always acted with “integrity, stateliness and loyalty to the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Mandelblit is set to end his term on Monday at midnight, with no replacement yet selected for the position.

Meanwhile, the nomination committee for the position of attorney general will convene Sunday night to discuss the candidates, with all committee members interested in completing the hearings and passing the chosen names to Sa’ar, even before Avichai Mandelblit ends his term.

Kan News reported that despite the desire to end the process, committee members had reserved another date for continued discussion, in case they did not reach an agreement.

According to the report, the person who is considered to have the highest chances of succeeding Mandelblit is attorney Gali Bahrav-Miara, the candidate nominated by Sa’ar. Another name with a very high chance of being included in the final list is that of the current Deputy Attorney General, attorney Raz Nazri.

Last month, on the day the search committee convened for the first time, the Justice Minister published his list of candidates: Former Tel Aviv District Attorney, Adv. Gali Bahrav-Myara, and the two Deputy Attorneys General, Adv. Raz Nazri and Adv. Roy Sheindorf.

A week later, the names of five other candidates were announced: former Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, Head of the Legal Department at the Kohelet Forum Dr. Aviad Bakshi, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Dr. Michal Agmon-Gonen, Defense Ministry legal adviser Itai Ofir, and Adv. Prof. Ariel Bandor.

The committee may recommend up to three names to be submitted for the decision of the Justice Minister.


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