Ziva David is a former officer with the Israeli Mossad and also a former Special Agent with the NCIS: Major Case Response Team in Washington D.C. She is the daughter of the deceased former director of Mossad, Eli David
During the "Legend" arc, she met with her boyfriend/former partner Michael Rivkin who was involved in the deaths of a terrorist cell located in Los Angeles, prompting Ziva's partner, Anthony DiNozzo to launch his own investigation. His snooping eventually led him to confront Rivkin in person and the two got into an intense fight which ended with Rivkin's death after DiNozzo shot him in self-defense.
In light of the fallout, Ziva returned to Israel, rejoining her father and also returning to work for Mossad. She was eventually captured by a terrorist and held prisoner for several months before Gibbs, DiNozzo and McGee saved her.
Having returned to the U.S, Ziva quit working for Mossad for good and she became an American citizen as well as a NCIS Special Agent.
Having served as a Probationary Agent since becoming an official agent at the end of Good Cop, Bad Cop (episode), Ziva became a fully-fledged NCIS Special Agent in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode).
Like her colleagues, Anthony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee, Ziva resigned from NCIS to protect Gibbs in the Season 10 finale episode, "Damned If You Do" and as of the Season 11 premiere episode, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (episode), Ziva remained a civilian and had also gone into hiding after discovering that she and her NCIS colleagues were being targeted by a group called the "Brotherhood of Doubt".
In Past, Present and Future (episode), Tony went to Israel where he eventually found Ziva and tried to persuade her to return to the United States but despite his best efforts, Ziva refused and opted to stay behind in Israel although she gave him her Star of David necklace as a souvenir.
Relationships and Family
Rivkin was a Mossad agent, and for a brief time, Ziva's lover. He was introduced in the Legend arc, where their relationship was revealed. Ziva was especially angry at Tony DiNozzo for Rivkin's death, even attacking him herself. Rivkin's death led her father to believe Ziva had lost loyalty to him, and she returned to Israel and Mossad with Rivkin's body in the NCIS Season 6 finale episode, "Aliyah" to prove her loyalty and bury him.
Ziva's father, with whom she had a complicated relationship. Ziva essentially cut ties with him after the death of her lover Michael Rivkin. She turned to Gibbs as a father figure instead. Eli valued Ziva as an agent, but did not appear to be close to his only surviving daughter. Eventually he did realize how much she meant to him and made an attempt to reconcile. Unfortunately, he was killed before the two got the chance to enjoy it. Ziva has made it clear that she intends to seek revenge for his death.
A known terrorist, Ari was Ziva's half brother, and the reason Ziva was sent as a liason to NCIS. She killed him to protect the life of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs whom she had come to admire.
Little is known about Ziva's relationship with her younger sister Tali, who was killed. Ziva implies that Tali was a Moussad agent at a young age, and says her sister was the "best" of her family.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Although she is Gibbs's subordinate, Ziva is especially close to him and seemingly adopted him as something of a surrogate father following her transfer to NCIS. In the Season 3 finale episode, "Hiatus Part 1", Ziva helps Gibbs to regain some of his memories by taking his hand and assisting him in giving her his signature slap to the back of the head after he becomes angry. When he remembers that she killed her brother to save his life, Ziva breaks down crying in his arms in apparently repressed grief.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo and Ziva share a complicated relationship. Initially he treated her with much the same antics as he had deceased former Special Agent Caitlin Todd. However, the flirtation between Ziva and Tony is much more overt and two sided. Ziva and Tony grew quite a bit closer after a mission forced them to play married assassins in the Season 3 episode, "Under Covers". In the season 10 episode, "Shiva", Tony arrives at a synagogue where Ziva has been praying and questioning God about the death of her father. When she asks for a sign that she should not lose hope, Tony enters, and states that he had McGee ping her cell when she did not answer. Ziva questions what he wants and he responds by telling her that he wants whatever she wants. When he offers his condolences, she tells him sympathy is the last thing she wants, leading him to question what she does want. Her response is "Revenge".
- Despite Ziva being Israeli (American after gaining citizenship), the actress who plays her, Cote de Pablo is originally from Chile.