Gadi Eizenkot
Gadi EizenkotIDF Spokesman

Government ministers unanimously approved Sunday morning the appointment of Major General Gadi Eizenkot as the 21st Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed Eizenkot's appointment at the start of the Cabinet meeting.

"Gadi Eizenkot is the right man in the right place at the right time. Gadi has been a soldier and a commander. He is a veteran commander and he can lead the IDF in the face of the major challenges that surround us," Netanyahu declared.  

The challenges are unceasing; they are not taking even a moment's respite, and I am convinced that with determined, responsible and strong leadership and policy, along with Gadi's command of the IDF, we will be able to overcome any and all obstacles and challenges.

"I wish Gadi Eizenkot great success; his success in all areas is our success," Netanyahu concluded. 

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also wished Eizenkot well, writing on his Facebook page that the General is a "valued officer, humble, creative and determined." 

The Turkel Committee for Examination of Senior Appointments, which looks into high-ranking appointments to make sure that they comply with rules, regulations and ethics, met with Eizenkot last week. They also met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, and outgoing Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz.

On Wednesday the Turkel Committee approved Eizenkot's appointment, which was announced in late November by Netanyahu and Yaalon. 

Eizenkot, 54, will replace the current Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, in mid-February. He has been serving for the past two years as the IDF's Deputy Chief of General Staff. 

Originally assigned to the Golani Brigade, Eizenkot received a long list of command positions from platoon commander, regimental tank company commander and battalion commander, before being appointed commander of the Golani Brigade in 1997. 

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.

He went on leave in 2011 in order to serve as a research fellow in an Israeli think tank, before returning as Deputy Chief of General Staff in place of Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, on January 14, 2013.

Eizenkott, who lives in Herzliya with his wife and five children, is the IDF's first chief of staff of Moroccan-Jewish descent.