Bills to Feature Rabin and Begin in Israeli Banknote Revolution

Bank of Israel to replace all figures on banknotes; process expected to be completed within 2 years.

For the first time in Israel's history, the Bank of Israel will change all the figures that are featured on the country's banknotes.

The new bills will feature Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion; Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl; and former Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin.

The plan, which is expected to be put into action in two years, is a break from tradition for the central bank, since it usually only occasionally changes the design of the bills and the pictures of the figures featured on them.

The figures who will be taken out of circulation will be former prime minister Moshe Sharett, who is currently featured on the NIS 20 note; former president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who is on the NIS 100 note; and writer the S.Y. Agnon, who is on the NIS 50 note.

It is still unclear whether the new banknotes will be made of paper or water-resistant polypropylene polymer, like the current NIS 20 bill.

In a statement, the Bank of Israel said, "There are more prominent figures in Israel's history that need to be put into circulation."

An additional reason for the changing of the bills is to implement new security measures aimed at combating counterfeiters.