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Israel appointed its first female ambassador to the United Nations.

Gabriela Shalev, the rector of the Ono Academic College in the Tel Aviv district, was approved Sunday by the Cabinet. She was chosen by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to succeed Dan Gillerman.

“It was important to me to appoint a woman to represent Israel in such an important place,” Livni told the Cabinet. “In addition, her extraordinary talents will enable her to deal with the challenges facing Israel.

“Professor Shalev is internationally respected, she has fulfilled many public positions in Israel, and the appointment committee determined that her impressive reputation and background, as well as her personality, make her a fitting candidate for the position of ambassador to the U.N.”

Shalev has served as chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, as a member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Trustees and a member of the committee for formulating ethics of Cabinet members.

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