General Ofer Winter
General Ofer Winterצילום: דובר צה"ל

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the Chief of Staff, Herzi Halevi, agreed that Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter, who has been in the military for a year and a half without a position, will be discharged from the IDF.

According to Yediot Aharonot, after Winter was not included in the recent round of senior IDF appointments announced last Thursday, he will be summoned along with other senior officers in the rank of brigadier general who were not promoted and were waiting for a decision, and they will be notified of the IDF's intention to retire them.

The decision to discharge Winter was explained by the fact that since September 2022, when he undertook academic studies after finishing his previous command position - no other role was found for him.

The Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff's associates said that it is not correct to keep an officer in such a professional and ethical situation, as it involves public funds wastage.

In a recent interview with Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, Major General (res.) Yitzhak Brik noted that Winter was an outstanding officer and that there was no clear reason for delaying his promotion.

"I have accompanied Ofer Winter for years. Every role he held was performed excellently. In his last role, he was the commander of the northern sector of the Gaza Division for several years before the war. I did a tour then of all our forces to learn from the field. I came to him for a full day, heard how he operates his people", Brik recounted.

He added, "After that, I told him to stay in the office and that I would go down to the soldiers without him to hear how they feel about their commander. I have never heard such praise from every level of subordinate. They all said that he cared for them on a daily basis and on a detailed level.

"For Winter, every rustle, every whisper that was important, any hint that there was a risk something would happen, he would have people on ready positions. If he were the Southern Command chief - there would have been no war. If he had heard what the observers say and heard all the scenarios of that day and the approach of Hamas to the fence, the entire army would be on its feet. They would not have penetrated," claimed Brik.

"Their problem with him is that he's 'a thorn'. He tells the truth. They don't like to hear the truth. They are a clique that goes together, one holding the hand of the other, and he is outside the clique, telling the truth. In the eyes of the clique, Hamas is deterred, and he presented problems to that assertion."

Winter has held the support of many right-wing figures in Israel for a significant period of time, and numerous political and military analysts have speculated that another reason for the delay in his advancement is because he is a religious Jew.