Wanted: Deputy for Galant

Major-General Eisencott says 'no, thanks' to the job, and may be on his way out of IDF. Galant document affair may have hurt his status.

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Gil Ronen, | updated: 13:36

Maj.-Gen Gadi Eizenkut
Maj.-Gen Gadi Eizenkut
Flash 90

The search is on for a deputy for the next IDF Chief of Staff, Major-General Yoav Galant. The two leading candidates at this point are Maj.-Gen Gadi Shamni, the IDF attache in Washington, and Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi, the current head of the IDF Central Command.

Shamni was the target of nationalist anger when he testified in the trial of Lt. (res.) Adam Maloul, who was accused of slapping an Arab suspect during a search for a terror cell. While Maloul and his higher-up, Col. Itai Virov, testified in court that use of force was sometimes necessary in combat situations, Shamni refused to back them up and reprimanded Virov for his testimony.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Maj.-Gen Galant were hoping to convince Maj.-Gen Gadi Eisencott, Head of the Northern Command, to accept the position. Eisencott, however, has refused, saying he will remain in charge of the Northern Command as long as he is asked to. Some pundits say, however, that after not being selected as the next Chief of Staff, Eisencott might simply prefer to leave the IDF, and does not really expect to remain in charge of the Northern Command.

Another possibility, according to Brig.-Gen (res.) Giora Inbar, who is close to Eisencott, is that he does intend to stay in Northern Command, but only for a limited time. Inbar said on IDF Army Radio that Eisencott feels his reputation was damaged by the scandal surrounding the 'Galant document'. He prefers to remain in his current position, and be appointed Deputy Chief of Staff in two years' time.

The person who admitted leaking the document to the press, Dr. Gabi Siboni, is a friend of Eisencott's.

Barak and Galant may nonetheless try to offer Eizencott another position, instead of the Northern Command.