Peres Calls Ashkenazi Among the 'Best' of IDF Chiefs in Israel's History

Outgoing IDF chief thanks Peres for his "personal support, attention and warm heart,' adding that he is confident he is leaving the IDF in good hands.

President Shimon Peres honored outgoing Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday, lauding him as one of the best military chiefs in the history of Israel.

Having witnessed 18 IDF chiefs of staff in his own lifetime, Peres said, Ashkenazi's contribution to Israel's defense stood out in its excellence. "You were one of the best IDF chiefs Israel has known," Peres told Ashkenazi.

President Shimon Peres, IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi
President Shimon Peres and IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi Ilan Asayag

Ashkenazi on his part thanked Peres for his "personal support, backing, attention, warm heart and supporting shoulder," and said he was confident he was leaving the IDF in good hands.

Ashkenazi made no mention of expectations that Maj. Gen.Benny Gantz would be named to succeed him, as that appointment has not yet been approved by the high-ranking Turkel committee.

With only a week remaining of Ashkenazi's term, it seems likely Gantz will be named to fill the role interim capacity until his appointment has been made official.

The High Court of Justice is set to consider on Tuesday a petition submitted by Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, demanding that the government bring its decision not to appoint him to the position to Turkel panel for reconsideration.