|14th Attorney General of Israel|
1 February 2016
|17th Cabinet Secretary|
29 April 2013 - 1 February 2016
|Born||29 June 1963|
Tel Aviv, Israel
|Education||Tel Aviv University|
|Years of service||1985-2011|
|Rank||Aluf (Major general)|
|Commands||Military Advocate General|
Aluf Avichai Mandelblit (Hebrew: ; born 29 June 1963) is an Israeli jurist who serves as the Attorney General of Israel. Mandelblit had a long career in the Israel Defense Forces legal system, eventually serving as the Chief Military Advocate General between 2004 and 2011. On April 2013, he was appointed Cabinet Secretary. In February 2016, he was appointed Attorney General.
Mandelblit was born and raised in Tel Aviv. His parents were Baruch (Mickey) and Ada Mandelblit. His father, a clothing merchant and deputy head of the Israel Football Association, was an Irgun veteran and member of the right-wing Herut party. At age 26, Mandelblit became an Orthodox Jew and a disciple of rabbi Baruch Ashlag.
Mandelblit postponed his mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces to attend Tel Aviv University as part of the Atuda program. He joined the IDF in 1985, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in law. He later earned a master's degree and a doctorate in law from Bar-Ilan University.
Mandelblit is married to Ronit, and has six children. The family lives in Petah Tikva.
Upon joining the IDF, he held a variety of positions in the Military Advocate General's Office. Between 1991 and 1992, he served as a judge on the Military Court of the Gaza region. In 1993, he was appointed senior assistant to the Chief Military Prosecutor, and later became his deputy. In 1997, he was appointed Deputy President of the Military Court of the Southern Command and the Ground Forces. In 2000, he was appointed as the Head of the Chief Military Defense, and, in 2003, as the Deputy Military Advocate General. In 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Tat Aluf (Brigadier General) and appointed as the Chief Military Advocate General. In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Aluf.
During his service as the Chief Military Advocate General, Mandelblit frequently expressed the IDF's legal viewpoint upon different issues of the international humanitarian law. In December 2007, he declared that the IDF's use of cluster bombs during the Second Lebanon War complied with international humanitarian law. He was also a part of harsh criticism against Goldstone Report, stating:
We ourselves set up investigations into 140 complaints. It is when you read these other reports and complaints that you realize how truly vicious the Goldstone report is. He made it look like we set out to go after the economic infrastructure and civilians, that it was intentional. It's a vicious lie.
On 15 September 2011, Mandelblit was succeeded as the Chief Military Advocate General by Danny Efroni.
After leaving the IDF, Mandelblit served as a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, and completed a doctoral thesis in law under the direction of Professor Yaffa Zilbershatz. In 2013, he was appointed Cabinet Secretary. He served in this role until becoming Attorney-General in 2016. Mandelblit opposed a section of the proposed Nationality Law, which would have allowed Jewish communal settlements to refuse to accept non-Jewish residents.
On 20 December 2018, Mandelblit announced that he would "work quickly" to decide whether or not to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, he also stated his indictment was also "not at the expense of quality decisions and professionalism" and "would not be influenced by anything other than the evidence and the law". The indictment will be finalized in February or March 2019.
This came the day following State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan's recommendation that Netanyahu be indicted. On 20 February 2019, Mandelbilt announced that he had accepted police recommendations to indict Netanyahu on three of the charges presented, and that the indictment will officially go into effect following a hearing.