Israeli PM names president's brother new ambassador to US

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett names president's brother new ambassador to US
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The appointment of President Isaac Herzog's brother, Brigadier General Michael Herzog, as Israel's new ambassador to the US will be submitted to Tel Aviv's cabinet for approval.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett named President Isaac Herzog as the next ambassador to the US [AFP/Getty]

Israel's premier on Friday named retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog as its new ambassador to the United States, the prime minister's office announced, noting his understanding of Iran.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chose Herzog for the job due to "his deep familiarity with the strategic issues facing Israel, especially the Iranian nuclear issue", as well as his security and diplomatic experience, a statement said.

Israeli media said that Herzog, 69, is the brother of President Isaac Herzog.

His appointment will be submitted to the cabinet for approval, the statement added.

The would-be ambassador served 40 years with the Israeli army, including as chief-of-staff to the defence minister.

He took part in "diplomatic negotiations under five prime ministers", the statement added.

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Herzog was also an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

According to the think tank's website, Herzog has "played a key role in the Arab-Israeli peace process" and took part in most of Israel's negotiations with Palestine, Jordan and Syria.

However, the idea there is a "peace process" has been widely criticised by Palestinians and many analysts who say the promises of previous agreements, such as the Oslo Accords, have not come to fruition and that Tel Aviv's violations continue.

Palestinians frequently face expulsion from their land while over 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Herzog has published work on Iran's nuclear programme and the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas, which rules the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

If approved by the coalition government, Herzog would remain as Israel's envoy to Washington when Foreign Minister Yair Lapid takes over from Bennett as prime minister in 2023.