Ziva David (surname primarily pronounced dah-VEED) was a former Israeli Mossad officer and former NCIS Special Agent who was originally assigned to NCIS as a Liaison Officer for Mossad, beginning her tenure as a NCIS/Mossad Liaison Officer in September/October 2005 following the murder of her predecessor, NCIS Special Agent Caitlin Todd at the hands of Ziva's half-brother, Ari Haswari.
Three years later in September or October 2009, after NCIS saved her from being held prisoner in Somalia, Ziva subsequently chose to resign from Mossad for good and was eventually accepted as an NCIS Probationary Agent, beginning her career as an NCIS Agent.
Two years later in September 2011, her tenure as a Probationary Agent came to an end and she was promoted to full-time NCIS Special Agent.
In May 2013, Ziva along with her colleagues, fellow NCIS Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee chose to resign to protect Gibbs but unlike DiNozzo and McGee who later returned to NCIS after Parsons dropped his investigation into them, Ziva later returned to her native Israel and opted to stay there, making her resignation from NCIS permanent and also leaving her NCIS position vacant for a time until NSA agent Eleanor Bishop replaced her.
Three years later in May 2016, Ziva was thought to have been killed in a mortar attack on the farmhouse where she lived and it was also revealed that she had given birth to a little girl named Tali David-DiNozzo with Tony himself ultimately resigning from NCIS for good to take care of Tali full-time although her body was never found, giving rise to the possibility that she may still be alive.
Three years later in 2019 a case involving a missing female naval officer dug up some of Ziva's past. She had an off site office where she kept very detailed and personal notes on every single case she worked, including the case of the missing officer. Bishop was very intrigued and read the journal Ziva kept on the case they were working. At the end of the journal was a letter the naval officers mom had wrote, Ziva promised to read it to the person who hurt the naval oficer, if he were to ever been caught. He was caught and the naval officer was found alive and returned to her boyfriend and daughter. Bishop then went to the hospital to read the letter and realized the letter was missing. The suspect then told Bishop that a female with an accent and dark hair read it to him. Bishop then returned to the building that Ziva had rented and found a note that read "Eleanor Bishop, For the safety of my family, Please keep my secret." leaving Bishop to believe that she is in fact alive. She returns in the season 16 finale in Gibbs' basement to inform him his life is in danger, revealing she really is alive.
She also had an older half-brother, Ari Haswari and a younger sister, Tali David.
When Ziva was thirteen years old, her parents divorced, presumably due to the fact that Rivka refused to forgive Eli for cheating her on 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.
During her time at Mossad, 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
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 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 operation 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, who was also 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.
Ziva was a young Israeli woman of athletic build with 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 Iraseli 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 Navy Lieutenant.
Ziva was skilled in the use of firearms, second only to Gibbs.
She was capable of wielding and using any firearm that comes into her possession with incredible skill and was a sharp shooter 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 lockpicking, 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
Relationships with Mossad Colleagues
For a more detailed list, see Ziva David/List of Appearances.