ben eliezer writing 311 (photo credit: Eli Neeman)
ben eliezer writing 311
(photo credit: Eli Neeman)
Ben-Eliezer, also known as Fuad, was born in 1936 in Basra, Iraq. He began his IDF service in 1954, and served as a Commander in the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. He completed his military service with the rank of Brigadier General.
He was first elected to the Knesset in 1984 on the Yahad list and in 1992 he was appointed Minister of Housing and Construction in former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's Labor government. He retained his seat in the 1996 elections, but lost his place in the cabinet as Labor went into opposition. In 1999 Ben-Eliezer returned to the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communications under then prime minister Ehud Barak.  After Ariel Sharon's victory in the special election for Prime Minister in 2001, Ben-Eliezer was appointed Minister of Defense in the national unity government, and served as Labor Party leader following Barak's resignation until Amram Mitzna was elected in 2002. He left the post on 2 October 2002 when Labor withdrew from the coalition.
In March 2007, Ben-Eliezer was forced to cancel a trip to Egypt after being warned by Egyptian intelligence that he could be arrested. Placed eighth on the party's list, he was re-elected again in the 2009 elections and appointed Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor. He resigned from the cabinet after Ehud Barak left the Labor Party to establish Independence in January.