Israel Names Infantryman as New IDF Chief

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today endorsed Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkott to become the next chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) once Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, current IDF Chief, retires early next year.

Eisenkott, a Golani infantryman who rose through the ranks to command the hard-slogging ground combat brigade, served as director of operations during Israel’s 2006 Lebanon War and then took command of IDF Northern Command with responsibility for the Lebanese and Syrian fronts. Since February 2011, Eisenkott has been deputy to Gantz.

Eisenkott was recommended to become the IDF’s 21st chief of staff by Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. His nomination will be presented to the cabinet for official approval.

Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, a successor to Eisenkott in command of the northern front, has been tapped to assume the deputy chief of staff position once Gantz retires.

“Eisenkott was selected among ground of excellent officers to lead the IDF in the face of complex defense challenges facing the state of Israel. In the name of Israeli citizens, I wish him best of success,” Netanyahu said Saturday.

Ya’alon said Eisenkott has demonstrated his worthiness as an officer and as a commander in many key positions.

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