Bennett and Gantz
Bennett and Gantz Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Disagreements have emerged between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz over the process of the appointment of the next IDF Chief of Staff.

Kan 11 News reporter Gili Cohen reported on Thursday evening that Bennett asked Gantz to interview the three candidates himself, saying he was not interested in being a "rubber stamp" for the appointment.

Gantz objects to the move and his associates say that the appointment process will be coordinated with the Prime Minister and they will discuss it.

The saga of the Prime Minister's involvement in the process of appointing the Chief of Staff has been an issue in the past: The appointment of current Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi was announced by then-Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman when then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a flight back to Israel from Oman, and thus thwarted the possibility that the candidates would be interviewed by the Prime Minister.

During Moshe Ya'alon's tenure as Defense Minister, Netanyahu interviewed all the candidates. As far as the protocol is concerned, the appointment is made by the Minister of Defense, and is then submitted for government approval, but it is appropriate for the Prime Minister to be involved in the process in light of the close work between the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff.

Gantz is slated to begin 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.