Israeli Military's Ground Forces Chief to Head IDF Operations Division

Yitzhak Turgeman will take over now that Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris is under investigation for alleged sex offenses.

Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Turgeman
Tomer Appelbaum

Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Turgeman will be the new head of the army’s Operations Directorate, after the appointment of Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris was canceled last week because he is under investigation on suspicion of rape and other sex offenses.

Turgeman currently heads the Ground Forces and is a former commander of the 36th Division and military secretary to the defense minister. His appointment, which requires the approval of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, is expected to go through quickly.

Ya’alon will also be asked to clear Col. Yonatan Saideh as chief instructor at the National Defense College. Saideh will replace Col. Dror Shalom, who will be promoted and head Military Intelligence’s research division.

Shalom is replacing Brig. Gen. Eli Ben Meir, who resigned because of personal differences with Military Intelligence chief Herzl Halevi and other senior officers in the branch.

Buchris has been accused of raping, sodomizing and sexually assaulting a female soldier under his command four years ago. Military prosecutors believe the soldier’s complaints are credible. A second soldier has also alleged that Buchris sexually harassed her. Buchris categorically denies the allegations.

Last week Buchris took a lie-detector test administered by the Military Police. According to Channel 2, two days after the test, Buchris was summoned for a third round of questioning and the results of the test were discussed with him.