Provisional Government of Israel

The provisional government of Israel (Hebrew: הממשלה הזמנית‎, HaMemshela HaZmanit) was the temporary cabinet which governed Israel from shortly before independence until the formation of the first government in March 1949 following the first Knesset elections in January that year.

It was formed as Minhelet HaAm (Hebrew: מנהלת העם‎, lit. People's Administration) on 12 April 1948, in preparation for independence just over a month later. All its members were taken from Moetzet HaAm (People's Council), the temporary legislative body set up at the same time. On 12 May, Minhelet HaAm convened to vote on whether to declare independence. Three of the members were missing; Yehuda Leib Maimon and Yitzhak Gruenbaum were stuck in Jerusalem, whilst Yitzhak-Meir Levin was in the United States.

The meeting started at 1:45 and ended after midnight. The decision was between accepting the American proposal for a truce, or declaring independence. The latter option was put to a vote, with six of the ten members present supporting it:

  • For: David Ben-Gurion, Mordechai Bentov, Moshe Sharett (Mapai), Peretz Bernstein (General Zionists), Haim-Moshe Shapira (Hapoel HaMizrachi), Aharon Zisling (Mapam).
  • Against: Eliezer Kaplan, David Remez (Mapai), Pinchas Rosen (New Aliyah Party), Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit (Sephardim and Oriental Communities).

On 14 May, the day Israel declared independence, Minhelet HaAm was converted into the Provisional government, whilst Moetzet HaAm became the Provisional State Council.

The Cabinet
Position Person Party
Prime Minister
Minister of Defense
David Ben-Gurion Mapai
Minister of Agriculture Aharon Zisling Mapam
Minister of Finance Eliezer Kaplan Mapai
Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett Mapai
Minister of Health
Minister of Immigration
Haim-Moshe Shapira Hapoel HaMizrachi
Minister of Internal Affairs Yitzhak Gruenbaum Independent
Minister of Justice Pinchas Rosen New Aliyah Party/Progressive Party
Minister of Labour and Construction Mordechai Bentov Mapam
Minister of Police
Minority Affairs Minister of Israel
Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit Sephardim and Oriental Communities
Minister of Religions and War Victims Yehuda Leib Maimon Mizrachi
Minister of Trade and Industry Peretz Bernstein General Zionists
Minister of Transportation David Remez Mapai
Minister of Welfare Yitzhak-Meir Levin Agudat Yisrael

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