Born in Iran in
1948, Shaul Mofaz was the 16th IDF chief of staff (1998-2002) and the defense minister in former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government
(2002-2006). In mid 2006, he was named transportation minister under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Mofaz and his family immigrated to Israel in
1957 and settled in the southern city of Eilat. After being educated in a religious elementary school, he was sent to the Agricultural Boarding School in Nahalal.
Mofaz visiting the Western Wall (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
In 1966 he joined the IDF's Paratroopers' Brigade, and went on to fight in the Six-Day War,
the Yom Kippur War,
the 1982 Lebanon War, and the famed Operation Entebbe.
During the Yom Kippur War he commanded a Paratroopers' operation deep within Syrian territory
and was subsequently named commander of Sayeret Matkal – the IDF's elite special forces unit.
After the Lebanon War, Mofaz left Israel in favor or attending the US Military's Marine Corps School of Infantry in Quantico, Virginia. Upon returning to Israel, he was named Commander of the IDF's Command and Staff College.
In 1986 he returned to active service as commander of the Paratrooper's Brigade. In 1988 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and in 1993 he took over as commander of the IDF forces in the West Bank. In 1994, Mofaz was made a major-general and named head of the IDF's Southern Command. In 1997 he was named deputy chief of staff, and in 1998 he was appointed IDF chief of staff.
Mofaz (L) touring northern border in 1999, with then Northern Command Chief Gabi Ashkenazi (Archive photo: GPO)
In 2002, after leaving the service, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asked him to join his government as the defense minister. When Sharon was reelected PM in 2003, Mofaz's appointment as defense minister was reaffirmed.
In November of 2005, after Sharon announced he was leaving the Likud in
favor of forming his new party Kadima,
Mufaz announced he would be seeking the Likud's leadership. Three weeks into the running he announced he was dropping out of the race, leaving the Likud and joining Kadima.
Mofaz was voted MK as part of Kadima's 2006 general election roster and in May of 2006 was named transportation minister under Ehud Olmert.
In March 2012, he was elected the chairman of Kadima by a 62% majority.
Mofaz is married to Orit and has four children.