Ziva David (surname pronounced dah-VEED) is a former Israeli Mossad officer and former NCIS Special Agent. The daughter of Mossad Deputy Director Eli David, she began her tenure as a Liaison Officer to NCIS in October 2005 following the murder of her predecessor, NCIS Special Agent Caitlin Todd, at the hands of Ziva's half-brother, Ari Haswari.
Four years later (2009), after NCIS rescued her from being held hostage at a terrorist camp in Somalia, Ziva subsequently chose to resign from Mossad for good and was eventually accepted as an NCIS Probationary Agent. She was promoted to full-time NCIS Special Agent in September 2011.
In May 2013, Ziva, along with fellow NCIS Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee, resigned from the agency to help protect team leader Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from a political vendetta. Unlike her colleagues, who rejoined the agency once the investigation into Gibbs and their team was dropped, Ziva returned to her native Israel and opted to stay there, resigning permanently from NCIS and leaving her position vacant until NSA analsy Eleanor Bishop succeeded her.
In May 2016, Ziva was apparently killed during an attack on her father's Israeli farmhouse. It was also revealed that she had a young daughter named Tali; fathered by Anthony DiNozzo and named after Ziva's long deceased younger sister. Tali survived the attack and was safely delivered into Anthony's custody.
Throughout the first several months of 2019, a series of mysterious events and discoveries by the NCIS team led to the reveal that Ziva had not only survived the attack on the farmhouse, but had gone deep undercover to find and eliminate the group responsible. With the help of her longtime friends and allies at NCIS and elsewhere, Ziva was finally able to remove the threats against her life and join Anthony and Tali in Paris.
She also had an older half-brother, Ari Haswari, and a younger sister, Tali David.
According to flashbacks in Enemies Domestic, Rivka took both of her daughters with her and left Eli in 1991 when Ziva was nine.
When Ziva was thirteen years old, her parents divorced, presumably due to the fact that Rivka refused to forgive Eli for cheating on her with Orli Elbaz.
At sixteen years of age, Tali died in a Hamas suicide bombing, leaving Ziva completely devastated with Ziva also seeking revenge for her sister's murder. Every year on Tali's birthday Ziva would go to the opera to honor her sister as she was a talented singer and loved being onstage.
After she turned 18, Ziva served in the Israeli Army as is compulsory for all eligible Israeli citizens and she subsequently joined Mossad, choosing to do so of her own free will.
During her time in Mossad, Ziva became highly valued for her skills which presumably included assassination and hand-to-hand combat. She also worked on the orders of her father, presumably conducting various missions on Eli's orders.
Ziva met and befriended Michael Rivkin who in turn became Ziva's partner and boyfriend for some time with the two presumably working on missions together. She also conducted missions with Namir Eschel who was believed to have been killed until Ziva later saw him in Shalom (episode).
NCIS Season 3
Ziva made her debut appearance in the Season 3 premiere episode, "Kill Ari Part 1".
NCIS Season 4
NCIS Season 5
NCIS Season 6
NCIS Season 7
NCIS Season 8
NCIS Season 9
Ray Cruz, Ziva's on-again off-again boyfriend, proposed to her in A Desperate Man. She told him she had to think about it. At the end of the episode she rejected his proposal after Gibbs had it confirmed by the CIA that Cruz violated orders when he killed Barry Norton on US soil.
NCIS Season 10
NCIS Season 11
NCIS Season 12
NCIS Season 13
NCIS Season 16
In the episode, Life Before His Eyes (episode), in one alternate reality, Ari Haswari never killed Kate Todd which ultimately saw the main NCIS team staying the same composed of Gibbs, DiNozzo, McGee, and Kate. With Kate having survived being shot, she was saved from death thanks to Gibbs spotting Ari in the distance, prompting him to order McGee to call in air support which in turn later caused Ari to flee after his position was compromised. Presumably, after taking time off, Kate later returned to active duty and got married to Tony. As such, Ziva never arrived at NCIS nor did she ultimately kill Ari or join the NCIS team as a NCIS/Mossad Liaison, later becoming an NCIS Special Agent. In fact, the Ziva of that reality remained a member of Mossad and also the Kidon Unit. She was eventually arrested, possibly during a sting of some sort ,or for illegally operating within the United States and was brought to NCIS with DiNozzo personally conducting the interrogation. Following that, Ziva's fate is unknown but it's possible that she was either imprisoned for being an illegal, foreign operator in the United States or sent back to Israel and Mossad by mutual agreement between parties associated with both NCIS and Mossad.
Prior to joining Mossad, Ziva served for at least 18 months or quite possibly three years in the Israeli Army although what she specifically did remains unknown.
After her military service ended, she later joined Mossad and also the Kidon Unit, becoming the Control Officer to Mossad agent Ari Haswari, her half-brother.
During her time in the Kidon, she met Michael Rivkin who became her partner and boyfriend as well as Namir Eschel with all three conducting various missions together.
Following Ari's death, Ziva eventually joined the NCIS team as a liaison officer for Mossad with Ziva operating with NCIS as well, a role she served for four years although she later returned to Israel following events in the Season 6 finale episode, Aliyah (episode).
Having been rescued from Somalia, Ziva chose to resign from Mossad for good in September or October 2009 and she ultimately became an NCIS Probationary Agent.
Two years later, Ziva was promoted from Probationary Agent to full-time, official NCIS Special Agent which occurred in September 2011. She held this position on the team up until her own resignation from NCIS in May 2013 which was brought about by Richard Parsons's investigation into NCIS and Gibbs.
Following her resignation, Ziva, now a civilian returned to Israel, presumably resulting in her severing her ties with the United States and she ultimately chose to remain there despite Tony attempting to convince her to return to the States.
Presumably, up until her own apparent death, Ziva remained a citizen of Israel and it's not known if her citizenship and her ties with the States remained intact or if they had been taken back as a result of her choosing to leave NCIS for good and ultimately return to Israel.
Initially, Ziva was portrayed as an aloof and private girl, having been skilled with knives, firearms, and many kinds of weapons and martial arts. She received cold looks from the rest of the team out of grief for the passing of Kate and her relations to Ari Haswari. As the seasons progress, the team becomes kinder towards her and she opens up a bit more, and would invite them over for dinner at her house.
Ziva is shown to be the face of many running gags in the series, such as her overly fast driving, which she learned from her mother, causing passengers to want to drive out of fear, and her poor understanding of many American phrases and concepts, which could imply a rather naive side to her.
Ziva is a young Israeli woman with a slim but fit build, and long dark brown hair, brown eyes and tanned skin.
When she first arrived at NCIS, she wore a jacket with a single t-shirt underneath along with combat trousers and boots. She also wore a bandanna as well.
Upon joining the main NCIS team, Ziva's dress style remained the same for a year although she was occasionally seen wearing skirts or high heels, usually in the office or sometimes on the field, especially during a undercover assignment but usually wears trousers and normal shoes as well.
For Season 3 and 4, Ziva often wore a sports watch similar to what McGee would wear during Season 6 but at the beginning of Season 5, Ziva later changed her watch and start wearing a silver watch quite similar to what her predecessor had worn and she would continue wearing it until her resignation in the Season 10 finale episode.
Ziva originally had long curly black or brown hair that hung down past her shoulders and in addition to wearing it down, she often tied her hair up into a ponytail.
In later years, she often kept her hair up in a single plait.
She also tied her hair up when she was out in the field, processing a crime scene or in a stand-off with a suspect with the hair often being placed into a single bun which was often visible underneath Ziva's own NCIS cap.
Ziva also usually parted her hair to either the left or right side of her face, leaving her earrings visible.
In NCIS Season 10, Ziva's hair was presumably dyed light brown with some small blonde highlights visible with the hair itself often hanging past Ziva's shoulders, sometimes even coming close to landing on her desk. The hair later even came to hanging past down her shoulders, nearly being elbow-length.
In addition, Ziva also stopped wearing her hair in a plait, instead choosing to either have it hanging down, covering her ears or tied up and by the time of her final appearance, had opted to leave her hair down altogether instead of usually up in a ponytail with her hair hanging past her shoulders although as before, the right side of her hair hung down, nearly covering her face while the left side was placed back behind her left ear or vice versa.
During her time on the NCIS team, Ziva was also seen wearing a gold Star of David pendant that she hung around her neck.
She wore this for the first six years of her employment with Mossad before she lost it after being captured by men loyal to Saleem Ulman with Salem himself ripping off the pendant in the last few seconds of the NCIS Season 6 finale episode, Aliyah (episode).
Upon returning to America, Ziva went about two or three episodes without wearing the Star of David pendant before she received a newer version of her original pendant although unlike its predecessor, the new pendant Ziva later wore seemed to be lighter with the Star of David itself often reflecting when caught in light.
During the rescue mission in Afghanistan, Ziva donned the traditional gear similar to what the Marine team wore. She also carried a Colt M4A1 Carbine.
Like her NCIS colleagues, Ziva's main weapon was a SIG-Sauer P228 and her back-up weapon was a Smith & Wesson Model 340PD.
As a former operative with the Israeli Mossad, Ziva was highly skilled in interrogation, performing assassinations or shootings and could hold her own in hand-to-hand combat.
After six or seven years working for NCIS, Ziva also gained the ability to process a crime scene all by herself, collect any physical evidence and she could even interrogate any suspects she interviewed without having to resort to physical violence or torture to get the information she needed, making her a valuable asset to both the NCIS agency and also the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Hand to Hand Combat
One of Ziva's primary skills as a Mossad operative was hand-to-hand combat.
On many occasions, she demonstrated that she was exceptionally skilled at holding her own in battle, especially against someone else who had undergone hand-to-hand combat training as well, and due to her training with Mossad, Ziva was able to either lethally or non-lethally incapacitate any opponent.
In the Season 9 episode, Newborn King (episode), Ziva managed to successfully incapacitate two members of a Russian mercenary group who had been hired to kidnap a pregnant Marine Corps Lieutenant.
Ziva was skilled in the use of firearms, second only to Gibbs, a former Marine sniper.
She was capable of wielding and using any firearm that comes into her possession with incredible skill and was a sharpshooter as well as a terrific marksman, her shots capable of killing an opponent if she chooses.
Ziva can speak a total of ten languages- Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
Ziva was skilled in lock picking, a skill that helped her and her NCIS colleagues gain access to a locked building such as a house or a warehouse.
Relationships with NCIS Colleagues
Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo
Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard
Timothy "Tim" McGee
Abigail "Abby" Sciuto
Relationships with Family
Ziva has one daughter, Tali. She was born in Israel in 2014.
Relationships with Mossad Colleagues
In Semper Fidelis it's revealed that Ziva's address in 2009 was 3558 Volta PL. N.W. Washington, apartment 234.
For a more detailed list, see Ziva David/List of Appearances.