Provisional government of Israel

The provisional government of Israel (Hebrew: הַמֶמְשָׁלָה הַזְמַנִּית, translit. HaMemshela HaZmanit) was the temporary cabinet which governed the newly established State of Israel, until the formation of the first government in March 1949 following the first Knesset elections in January that year.

Provisional Cabinet of Israel

Cabinet of Israel
Date formed14 May 1948 (1948-05-14)
Date dissolved10 March 1949 (1949-03-10)
People and organisations
Head of governmentDavid Ben-Gurion
Member partiesMapai
Hapoel HaMizrachi
New Aliyah Party
Progressive Party
Sephardim and Oriental Communities
General Zionists
Agudat Yisrael
Status in legislatureCoalition
Successor1st Cabinet of Israel

With the British Mandate of Palestine scheduled to come to an end on 15 May 1948, the governing body of the Jewish community, the Jewish National Council (JNC), on 2 March 1948 began work on organization of a Jewish provisional government.[1] On 12 April 1948 it formed the Minhelet HaAm (Hebrew: מנהלת העם, lit. People's Administration), all of its members being drawn from Moetzet HaAm (People's Council), the temporary legislative body set up at the same time. The departmental structure of the JNC served as a basis for the interim government ministries.

People's Administration (Minhelet HaAm)
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
Minister of 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

On 12 May, Minhelet HaAm convened to vote on whether to declare independence. Three of the thirteen members were missing, with Yehuda Leib Maimon and Yitzhak Gruenbaum being stuck in Jerusalem, whilst Yitzhak-Meir Levin was in the United States. The meeting started at 1:45 in the afternoon 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:

On 14 May, the day Israel declared independence, Minhelet HaAm became the Provisional government, whilst Moetzet HaAm became the Provisional State Council. The Provisional government was promptly recognised by the United States as the de facto authority of Israel,[2][3] followed by Iran (which had voted against the UN partition plan), Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Romania, and Uruguay. The Soviet Union granted official recognition to Israel on 17 May 1948,[4] followed by Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Ireland, and South Africa.[citation needed] The United States extended de jure recognition after the first Israeli election,[5] on 31 January 1949.[6]


  1. ^ Nanette Dobrosky (1987). "Palestine Israel US State Department Records". University Publications of America. p. 37. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  2. ^ End of Palestine mandate, The Times, 15 May 1948
  3. ^ Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. "The Recognition of the State of Israel". Archived from the original on 8 February 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  4. ^ Hashim S. H. Behbehani (1986). The Soviet Union and Arab nationalism, 1917-1966. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7103-0213-7.
  5. ^ Press Release, 31 January 1949. Official File, Truman Papers Archived 2017-12-07 at the Wayback Machine Truman Library
  6. ^ The Recognition of the State of Israel: Introduction Archived 2019-02-08 at the Wayback Machine Truman Library