Eisenkot to Become Next IDF Chief, Following Cabinet Approval

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IDF chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.
IDF chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Credit: Ofer Vaknin

The cabinet on Sunday gave the final green light for Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to become the next Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff.

"Gadi Eisenkot is the right man at the right time and place," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in approving the nomination at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Eisenkot will replace Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz on February 15.

Eisenkot last week was confirmed by the government appointments committee, but awaited final approval by the cabinet.

“Maj. Gen. Eisenkot is a worthy candidate for the post of chief of General Staff, and it is within his ability to bear the heavy burden of the position on his shoulders,” said the Advisory Committee on Senior Appointments, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel. “We were also convinced that the reservations raised did not invalidate his appointment from the perspective of integrity or any other reason.”

Eisenkot played a marginal role in the Harpaz affair, in that he was one of the few people to see a copy of a forged document meant to smear a candidate for the IDF’s top position; he didn’t immediately report it, and gave two differing accounts to police. But the committee said it was convinced that Eisenkot had operated with goodwill and had no ulterior motives. The attorney general cleared him of criminal suspicions.

Another objection to Eisenkot’s appointment was filed by the Yesh Gvul movement, which complained about Eisenkot’s support for aggressive attacks on Lebanese civilian infrastructure in response to Hezbollah rocket attacks.

The Turkel committee dismissed all objections to the nomination.

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