PMs Rabin, Begin to appear on new Israel banknotes

Israel's central bank says the faces of former prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin will appear on a new series of banknotes.

The bank says it is issuing the new bills in 2012 in denominations of 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekels. The bills will also feature the images of Nobel-winning author Shai Agnon and poet Rachel.

The bank said Sunday it chose to focus on two aspects of Israel's history — politics and culture. It says it chose the politicians because they signed peace agreements with Israel's neighbors.

Rabin made peace with Jordan and reached an interim deal with the Palestinians before he was assassinated by a Jewish ultranationalist in 1995. Begin reached Israel's historic peace agreement with Egypt, its first with an Arab country.