Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO
American-Israeli Ilan Grapel (C) poses for a photograph with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd R), Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho (2nd R), U.S ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro (R), Israeli Knesset member Yisrael Hasson (3rd L), U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman (L) and Grapel's mother (2nd L) in Jerusalem. October 27, 2001.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, has given notice that he will leave his position at the end of February 2018.

After many years, attorney Molcho requested – over a year ago – that Prime Minister Netanyahu discharge him from his responsibilities. The latter asked Molcho to continue, but the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release to media that after repeated requests, Netanyahu “has acceded to attorney Molcho’s application.”


Molcho served in the sensitive position of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy in 1996-99 and again since 2009, upon the prime minister’s return to office.

In his letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Attorney Molcho wrote:

“Pursuant to my previous contacts in this regard, I respectfully request that you discharge me from my position . . . which I have fulfilled for many years as a national service on a voluntary basis.”

In his letter to Attorney Molcho, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote:

“In light of your determined position, I have decided to accede to your request. At the same time, I am pleased that you have agreed to delay the date of your leaving until the end of February 2018, thus enabling me to find an appropriate replacement for this vital position.

“I need not enumerate the sensitive and important diplomatic missions that you have carried out. You did so with a rare combination of ability, experience and a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the issues. The time has not yet come to reveal all of your activities but I am certain that when that time does come, the citizens of Israel will greatly appreciate your contribution. It is no wonder that the government ministers and I, who are aware of your efforts, feel the highest esteem for you.

“Many leaders have praised you and noted that they could always talk to you freely because you never sought any sort of publicity for your great work and contribution. Like your father before you, you have worked on behalf of the country as a national and voluntary service.”

Molcho has served as chief negotiator for the Netanyahu administration in talks with the Palestinian Authority.