Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot has offered to lead Israel’s response to the coronavirus, according to a report Monday morning by Yediot Aharonot.
On Sunday, Major General (res.) Roni Numa refused an offer to lead Israel’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
After Numa turned down the offer, Eizenkot discussed the possibility of taking on the position himself, according to the report, with Eizenkot expressing interest in being tapped for the command. Eizenkot reported specified, however, that he would only take on the position if it was given to him directly from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, rather than from Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.
This condition, according to sources close to Eizenkot, was made because the former IDF chief said that without authority from the Prime Minister and without clearly defined authorities, he would be unable to successfully manage Israel’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
Eizenkot told members of his inner circle that the fight against the coronavirus could only be successful if the person charged with leading the effort be given fully control and be answerable directly to the prime minister.
Maj. General Roni Numa turned down the Health Ministry’s offer for him to manage Israel’s response to the coronavirus pandemic after Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and ministry Director-General Hezi Levy refused to grant him the full authority he had requested.
Numa had previously managed the government’s efforts to combat coronavirus outbreaks in Bnei Brak, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.