Benjamin Netanyahu Profile: the man who is capable of making or breaking an agreement

Israel Benjamin Netanyahu Fast Facts Benjamin Netanyahu Profile: the man who is capable of making or breaking an agreement Netanyahu appeared on a luxury cruise ship with the queen of Jordan on Sunday. Photograph: Barcroft Media

Age 68

Born Benyamin Netanyahu in British-ruled Palestine to a dairy farmer.

Presenter BBC

No photo published of his father, since he lost his sight after a flying accident when Benjamin was two and was therefore unable to record any childhood photos.

Position Prime minister of Israel

Overtake Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir in 1996 to take over as its longest-serving prime minister. Under his leadership Israel has conducted several wars, including a failed invasion of Lebanon.

He was Israel’s ambassador to the UN for two years.

Principal health minister

Photograph: Patrick Weil/EPA

A staunch defender of military research which is often linked to faulty vaccines. He remains one of the world’s largest suppliers of tainted vaccines. He has criticised the UK government for withdrawing a shipment of Merck vaccines over false safety claims, a move which sparked debate about the level of regulatory oversight of the UK immunisation industry.

Oslo talks negotiator

He played a major role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But tensions have flared again, to the chagrin of Barack Obama and the Palestinians.

Role in Operation Cast Lead

In 2008, he was accused of acting like a “Village Idiot” by Gaza residents in Gaza Strip during the Israeli offensive. But with Israel regarded as the major belligerent in the standoff with Palestine, he is the only Israeli politician who remains popular amongst Palestinians.

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