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The cabinet will discuss, and is expected to approve unanimously, the appointment of General Moshe `Bugi' Ya'alon as the next chief of staff Sunday.

At the meeting, Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer will recommend Ya'alon, offering his reasons for the appointment, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will praise Ya'alon and the other candidates, and outgoing chief of staff Shaul Mofaz will hear a few words of praise about himself before offering some of his own. At the end of the cabinet session, the appointment is expected to be unanimously approved.

A trial run for Sunday's vote was held Sunday when the Civil Service Commission's special appointments committee, headed by former Supreme Court justice Gabriel Bach, approved Ya'alon's appointment.

One day after it was reported that Ben-Eliezer had decided to recommend him for the post, Ya'alon spoke yesterday with the two deputy chief of staff candidates - Maj. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy and Maj. Gen. Shlomo Yanai. Ya'alon is expected to announce his choice immediately after his appointment is authorized so that the new deputy can take up his position following the Pesach holiday, after which Ya'alon will take leave to prepare for his new post.