Cabinet to Approve Ashkenazi as Chief of Staff Next Week

The cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of Major General (reserves) Gabi Ashkenazi as the next Israel Defense Forces chief of staff at its next meeting.

The committee in charge of evaluating senior civil service appointments, headed by retired Judge Ya'akov Turkel, approved Ashkenazi's appointment yesterday.

"The committee members were convinced that Ashkenazi is a most worthy candidate for the position of IDF chief of staff, and that he will be able to bear the heavy burden of the position," the panel's statement read.

The committee added that it found no ethical grounds "or any other reason" for not approving the appointment.

Court okays move before probe ends

In addition, Supreme Court Justices Dorit Beinisch, Eliezer Rivlin and Ayala Procaccia ruled yesterday that the government is entitled to appoint a new chief of staff before the Winograd Committee, which is investigating the second Lebanon war, issues an interim report on its findings.

The court thereby rejected a petition filed by the Movement for Quality Government and Almagor, a group representing victims of terror, which had argued that it would be wrong to name a new chief of staff before the Winograd Committee's interim report is available.

The court said that it saw no reason to intervene in the government's decision to appoint a new chief of staff without delay.

Ashkenazi will replace Dan Halutz, who resigned two weeks ago. Ashkenazi is expected to take over at the General Staff in another two weeks.