Israel Eliraz was born in Jerusalem in 1936, the fifth generation of his family to live there. He took his Bachelor's Degree in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his Master's in Comparative Literature from Tel Aviv University. He taught for many years as a high school teacher and as lecturer at the Kerem Institute for Teacher Training.
In 1980, Eliraz was visiting Professor of Drama at Virginia Commonwealth University in the US. In 1995-1996, he was awarded a scholarship by the French government to study at the Sorbonne. Eliraz began as a writer of drama and fiction, and his opera librettos have been produced in Israel and Europe. In 1970s, he began writing poetry, publishing a dozen books, as well as plays, literary criticism, radio scripts and translations, primarily from French. His work has been translated into many languages and several of his books have been published in France