Nawaf Massalha (Arabic: نواف مصالحة‎, Hebrew: נואף מסאלחה, born 26 November 1943, also spelt Nawaf Mazalha or Nawaf Masalha) is an Israeli Arab politician. He became the first Muslim Arab to hold a ministerial position in the Israeli government when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Health by Yitzhak Rabin in 1992.

Nawaf Massalha
Date of birth (1943-11-26) 26 November 1943 (age 76)
Place of birthKafr Qara, Mandatory Palestine
Knessets12, 13, 14, 15
Faction represented in Knesset
1991–1999Labor Party
1999–2001One Israel
2001–2003Labor Party


Massalha was born in the town of Kafr Qara during the Mandate era. He attended Tel Aviv University, gaining a BA, and worked as a teacher. He is married and has five children.

Political careerEdit

Massalha joined the Alignment, and was elected to the Knesset in the 1988 election. In his first term, he was made Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He retained his seat in the 1992 election as a member of the Labor Party (which the Alignment had merged into), and became Deputy Minister of Health in Yitzhak Rabin's government.

Despite Labor's failing in the 1996 election, Massalha retained his seat again, as he did in Labor's more successful 1999 election campaign. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ehud Barak's government. However, he lost his seat in the 2003 election.

External linksEdit