Yitzhak "Tzachi" Hanegbi (Hebrew: יצחק "צחי" הנגבי, born 26 February 1957) is a prominent Israeli politician and security expert. He has served as Minister of Justice, Minister of Internal Security, Minister of Intelligence and Nuclear Affairs, and Minister in the Prime Minister's office supervising Israel's intelligence agencies - Mossad and Shin Bet. He has also been responsible for overseeing Israel's Atomic Energy Agency, and served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is currently the Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Majority Leader of the Knesset.
Hanegbi was born in Jerusalem in 1957. His mother is Geula Cohen, a prominent member of the 1940s underground group Lehi and later MK for Likud and Tehiya. His father, Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer for the Lehi. After his military service in the paratroopers corps, Hanegbi studied international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As president of the Hebrew University Student Union in 1980, he received a six-month suspended sentence for leading an attack on Arab students. Despite this incident, he became president of the National Union of Israeli Students later that year, holding that title until 1982. After his undergraduate studies, he went on to study law, obtaining an LL.B.
Hanegbi was first elected to the Knesset in the 1988 elections, and headed the Prime Minister's Bureau under Yitzhak Shamir. He retained his seat in the 1992 and 1996 elections, and was initially appointed Minister of Health in Binyamin Netanyahu's government, becoming Minister of Justice in September 1996 and dropping the health portfolio in November that year.
After Likud's convincing win in the 2003 elections, Hanegbi was appointed Minister of Internal Security. In September 2003 he was appointed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as minister in the Prime Minister's Office in charge of Israel's intelligence agencies – the Mossad and Shin Bet, and supervised Israel's Atomic Energy Agency.
When Sharon broke away to form Kadima in November 2005, Hanegbi was appointed interim chairman of Likud. On the following day, Hanegbi announced that he was also switching to Kadima, and resigned from the Knesset on 10 December. However, he reappeared in the Knesset in April 2006 after winning a seat in the 2006 elections. From May 2006 until December 2010 Hanegbi served as the Chairman of the Knesset's Security and Foreign Affairs Committee.
Placed fourth on the party's list, he retained his seat in the 2009 elections.
In July 2010, after a four-year trial for election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, a Jerusalem court cleared Hanegbi of all charges. However, the three-judge panel found him guilty of perjury. The case stems from Hanegbi's denial that he was behind an ad boosting his appointments of Likud party's political activists to positions in the Ministry of the Environmental Protection. The judges verdict cleared Hanegbi of any criminal wrongdoing, accepting the defense's argument that such appointments were not illegal prior to 2004, and that this was the common practice among all cabinet members in all the previous governments since Israel's independence. The court ruled that selectively prosecuting Hanegbi for what was a widespread and common practice was wrong and unfair. Hanegbi was urged by his legal team to appeal the perjury conviction to Israel's High court of Justice. Following the verdict, several prominent leaders and officials publicly defended Hanegbi. Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg who opposes Hanegbi politically, has called for the firing of the prosecutor by the Attorney General.
On 9 November 2010, the Jerusalem court fined Hanegbi 10,000 NIS, and in a 2-to-1 decision imposed moral turpitude to the offense. Hanegbi therefore suspended himself from the Knesset and from his position as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, pending his legal appeal. His seat was taken by Nino Abesadze.
Hanegbi resigned from Kadima and returned to Likud when Kadima decided to leave the short-lived unity government in July 2012. Hanegbi explained that he believed Kadima's decision to quit the unity government was irresponsible, and motivated by short-term political goals. Following his decision, Hanegbi was re-elected on the Likud list in the January 2013 elections. In June 2014 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.