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The Cabinet of Israel (officially: Hebrew: ממשלת ישראל Memshelet Yisrael, English: Government of Israel) is a formal body composed of government officials called ministers, chosen and led by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must appoint members based on the distribution of votes to political parties during legislative elections, and its composition must be approved by a vote in the Knesset. Under Israeli law, the Prime Minister may dismiss members of the Cabinet, but must do so in writing, and new appointees must be approved by the Knesset. Most ministers are heads of government departments, though some are Ministers without Portfolio. Most ministers are members of the Knesset, though only the Prime Minister and the Designated Acting Prime Minister are actually required to be Knesset members. Some ministers are called also Deputy and Vice Prime Ministers. Unlike the Designated Acting Prime Minister, these roles have no statutory meanings. The cabinet operates according to the Basic Law: The Government.
The cabinet meets weekly on Sundays in Jerusalem. There may be additional meetings if circumstances require it. The prime minister chairs the meetings.
The body discussed in this article is referred to in Israeli official documents as the Government of Israel. This is in accordance to the normal translation of its Hebrew name, (Hebrew: ממשלה, Memshala). In Israel, the term cabinet (Hebrew: קבינט) is generally used for the Political-Security Cabinet (Hebrew: הקבינט המדיני-ביטחוני HaKabinet haMedini-Bitachoni), a smaller forum of cabinet members that decides on defense and foreign policy issues and may consist of up to half of the (full) cabinet members. Another term in use is the Kitchen Cabinet (Hebrew: המטבחון, HaMitbahon, lit. "The kitchenette"), a collection of senior officials, or unofficial advisers to the Security Cabinet of Israel.
The first cabinet was the provisional government of Israel (HaMemshala HaZmanit) which governed Israel from shortly before independence until the formation of the first government in March 1949 following the first Knesset elections in January that year. It was formed as the People's Administration (Minhelet HaAm) on 12 April 1948, in preparation for independence just over a month later. All its thirteen members were taken from Moetzet HaAm, the temporary legislative body set up at the same time.