Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz Avshalom Sassoni/Flash 90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will begin to hold meetings over the weekend with the three candidates for the post of IDF Chief of Staff.

On Saturday night, Gantz will meet with Major General Eyal Zamir, next Tuesday he will meet with Major General Yoel Strick and next Wednesday will meet with Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Herzi Halevi.

Later, the Minister of Defense will meet with former senior officials in the defense establishment for further consultations and, if necessary, will hold additional meetings with the candidates.

Gantz, who is interested in an accelerated process for the appointment of the next Chief of Staff, updated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett before starting the process, and also held a meeting with the current Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who expressed his disappointment with the move.

Kochavi is expected to end his term in January, in six months' time, and despite the relatively long period of time before then, the government's faltering situation is certainly a consideration for the Defense Minister in appointing Kochavi’s replacement.

Gantz aspires to declare the identity of the next Chief of Staff before the government falls, since after that happens, a transitional government will take over, making it much more complicated to appoint a senior post like that of Chief of Staff.