Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon formally announced on Saturday that the next IDF chief of staff will be Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. The IDF Deputy Chief of Staff will be Maj. Gen. Yair Golan.
After a considerable delay, the two appointments were agreed upon by Ya'alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Eisenkot's appointment must be approved by the cabinet and the Turkel committee, which vets senior appointments.
"In the coming years, the State of Israel and the IDF will face very complex challenges on all fronts, along the borders, within them and far from them," Ya'alon said on Saturday. "And Maj. Gen Gadi Eisenkot is the most worthy officer to take the torch from IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, and lead the IDF in confronting these challenges."
Eisenkot, 54, has filled all the relevant positions that qualify him to lead the Israeli army. A former commander of the Golani Brigade, he was Ehud Barak's military secretary in 1999-2000, when Barak served as prime minister and defense minister, and remained in this position under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He later commanded an armored division as head of the IDF's West Bank Division at the height of the second intifada, in 2003-2005 and served as head of operations during the Second Lebanon War.
The chief of staff-designate will have less than two-and-a-half months to prepare himself for the most sensitive security post of all.