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Accused of being a double agent, she becomes a fugitive and is forced to ask for help from Gibbs, who had retired from NCIS at the end of season 3 and is living in Mexico.They ultimately prove her innocence, and this event prompts Gibbs to return to NCIS.In the third season, she recounts an incident in which one of her friends from Mossad had been beheaded after infiltrating a Hamas cell in Ramallah; Hamas terrorists sent his head back on the overnight express, leading her to view captivity as worse than death.Ziva has been involved in operations in Cairo, Egypt (where she met Jenny Shepard, who later became Director of NCIS), in Iraq before its occupation, in Paris where she worked with partner Namir Eschel, and in Eastern Europe alongside Jenny Shepard, which was followed by six months in the United Kingdom on counter-terrorist operations directly prior to working with NCIS.
Her early storylines center on her integration and attempts to be accepted by the other characters.
She replaced Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander), who was killed at the hands of Ziva's half-brother, Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin), in the season 2 finale.
Following the onscreen death of the character's father in season 10, Gabi Coccio recurrently portrayed a young Ziva in flashbacks.
Ziva is introduced to the show as an Israeli citizen, an agent of the Kidon unit of the Mossad, a daughter of Mossad Director Eli David, and a friend of NCIS Director Jenny Shepard.
She was assigned to NCIS as a liaison officer in an arrangement between Eli and Jenny, a position she held for four years until she returned to Mossad in the season 6 finale, "Aliyah".