Brigadier General Kamil Abu Rokon was promoted to the rank of Major General and was formally appointed to be the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) at a ceremony held at the IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv.
COGAT is the unit responsible for liaisoning with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and runs the Civil Administration, the IDF body that controls Judea and Samaria.
The ceremony was attended by leading officials in the security establishment, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and entire IDF General Staff.
Abu Rokon will replace Major General Yoav 'Poli' Mordechai, who had commanded COGAT for four years. Abu Rokon will formally take command in May.
Liberman praised Mordechai, who he said had become "a one-man Foreign Ministry" due to the contacts had with high-level members of the Palestinian Authority. "During your tenure, you became a one-man Foreign Ministry. Even in my previous positions, I have not encountered anyone so well-known in the international arena," Liberman told him. "The State of Israel owes you great thanks."
Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the role of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories is unique due to the fact that his job description entails dealing with the civilian population in Judea and Samaria. "The Palestinian arena is a very complex and complicated arena in which the IDF as an army is the ruler in Judea and Samaria and has a great responsibility and complexity," said Eizenkot.
Eizenkot expressed his deep appreciation to Mordechai, "for your work, your contribution and to wish success in whatever you choose to continue to do."
Mordechai is to retire from the IDF after more than three decades of service, including in elite units such as the 504 intelligence brigade that is tasked with running agents in Arab countries.
Abu Rokon said that he saw himself as a representative of the Druze population in the IDF. "As the most senior representative of the Druze community in the defense establishment and in the IDF, I accept additional responsibility, even if it is not official, to integrate the members of the community into the IDF and the State, and to promote the activity for the sake of the security of the State of Israel," he said.