Gantz 'Happy' Eizenkot Appointed as Successor

IDF Chief of Staff praises his successor, hails decision made without discord amid high tensions over security.

Tova Dvorin,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz praised the appointment of Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot to succeed him as Chief of Staff, saying Sunday morning that he was "happy" over the decision. 

"The issue of the 21st chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, has come to a close," Gantz said Sunday morning outside his home. "The conclusion was drawn at a time when we saw it became an issue between two main candidates and several other potential candidates, all of them good and talented officers."

"I am happy about the way the decision was made," Gantz added, noting it was decided "without discord."

The remark reflects on multiple points of tension in Israel's security establishment over the past several months, including a very public dispute between Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino. 

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon officially declared Eizenkot the next IDF Chief of Staff on Saturday, explaining that Eizenkot is "an excellent candidate who is worthy and experienced" for the job.

"I believe that Major General Gadi Eizenkot is the right person at this time to lead the army in the coming years," Ya'alon stated Saturday night. "I have known Eizenkot for years, and he brings professionalism, leadership abilities, great wisdom, responsibility and judgment [to the position]."

Eizenkot, 54, has served over the past two years as Deputy Chief of Staff. He was originally assigned to the Golani Brigade, which he himself eventually commanded from 1997 to 1998.

In 1999 Eizenkot was selected to be the Military Secretary for the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense under then Prime Minister Ehud Barak. He later commanded the 366th Division and the Judea and Samaria Division. He was promoted to head of Israeli Operations Directorate in June 2005.

In October 2006, Eizenkot became head of the Northern Command, replacing Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, who resigned amid criticism over his conduct in the Second Lebanon War.

Eizenkot will replace Gantz in February.




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