About the National Security Council

 

The National Security Council (NSC) was established in March 1999, in accordance with Government Resolution No. 4889, and on July 29, 2008, it was anchored in law to consolidate issues related to the State of Israel’s foreign affairs and security for the prime minister and the government.
 
 

​​

Background

​​​The National Security Council (NSC) coordinates work related to national security for the prime minister. It derives its authority from the law, and operates in accordance with the prime minister’s instructions. The NSC is located in close proximity to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. ​
​​

​Head of the National Security Council and the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister

     
​​The head of the NSC is subordinate to the prime minister and reports directly to him on issues of national security. The first National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council was Maj.-Gen. (Res.) David Ivri. Today, Meir Ben-Shabbat serves in this position.

 
 
 
​​

Deputy Head of the NSC

​​By law, the Deputy Head of the NSC acts as the Head of the NSC in the absence of the latter. Eytan Ben-David currently serves as the Deputy Head of the NSC.

NSC’s Responsibilities

​​The responsibilities of the NSC are prescribed by the NSC Law as follows:
  • To consolidate the staff work of the government, the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs and of other ministerial committees dealing with foreign affairs and security;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • To prepare the government's discussions and those of its committees aforementioned in Paragraph (1); to present alternatives regarding the subjects under discussion, in addition to their being presented by relevant bodies; to explain the differences between the alternatives and their significance, as examined by the National Security Council; and to submit its recommendation and the rationale behind it for the chosen alternative;
  • To follow up on the implementation of government resolutions and decisions by the committees aforementioned in Paragraph (1), and to report on their implementation to the prime minister;                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • To propose to the prime minister an agenda and subjects for discussion in the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, and in any other ministerial committee or composition of ministers on matters of foreign affairs and security, and to make recommendations regarding summoning participants and the rank of the invitees to these discussions;
  • To be responsible, on behalf of the prime minister, for the inter-organizational and inter-ministerial staff work on matters relating to foreign affairs and security, to present to them alternatives in the field, the differences between them and their significance, as examined by the NSC, and its recommendation to the prime minister regarding policy in these matters; and to present the same information to the government, as per the Prime Minister's decision;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • To prepare for and present to the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, at least once a year, an annual and multi-year assessment of the political-security situation, as well as to prepare situation assessments on tangential matters, including an opinion and analysis in various intelligence fields, as needed and with the prime minister's approval. Situation assessments as aforementioned, as well as assessments by the security bodies over which the prime minister has responsibility, the Israel Defense Forces, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security, are to be submitted to the prime minister and discussed in the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, at least once per year, in the manner outlined in Paragraph (2);
  • To prepare the staff work for the prime minister ahead of security budget discussions, as well as discussion on any other budgetary article that the minister of defense, or whomever he has appointed to the task, is responsible for, the budget the minister of foreign affairs is responsible for and the budget of the security bodies under the responsibility of the prime minister, including formulating alternatives, according to reasoned priorities, with a comprehensive view; In this Law –
    "The Budget Foundations Law" The Budget Foundations Law of 1985;
    "Budget clause" – As defined in the Annual Budget Law, as intended in the Budget Foundations Law;
    "Defense budget" – As intended in Chapter C of the Budget Foundations Law
  • To operate the National Crisis Administration Center in the Prime Minister's Office;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • To examine the security concept of the State of Israel and to recommend updates to it;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • To examine security initiatives of importance in the political-security field and present its position to the government, the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs or any other body the prime minister wishes, including formulating alternatives according to reasoned priorities, with a comprehensive view, unless otherwise instructed by the prime minister;
  • To execute any other staff work in the field of foreign affairs and security and in any other field determined by the prime minister.
​​To perform other duties as determined in other government resolutions, including overseeing the work of the Counterterrorism Bureau, whose activities were specifically defined. ​
​​