Born in Jerusalem in 1923, Harish was educated in a yeshiva. He joined the Haganah, and volunteered for the British Army during World War II, before serving as an officer in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
He studied for bachelor's and master's degrees in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began working as a magistrate. He became a judge in the Tel Aviv District court in 1969, and later became its vice-president. In 1986 Harish was appointed Attorney General. His predecessor Yitzhak Zamir had resigned after refusing to abandon an investigation into the activities of the head of Israel's GSS. A year later Harish set up the Landau Commission to investigate methods used by the GSS.
He left the post on 1 November 1993 and was replaced by Michael Ben-Yair.
- "Yosef Harish, Former Attorney-General, Dead at 90". Haartz, Ofer Aderet, 11.07.2013
- Israel replaces attorney general Anchorage Daily News, 2 June 1986
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