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Controversial General to Command North

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Maj. Gen. Amiram Levine was named this week as commanding officer in charge for the northern sector, a posting that will give him overall responsibility for Israel Defense Force operations in the southern Lebanon security zone.

His appointment was regarded by some as controversial, since Levine was among three top military officers tried in connection with a 1992 accident at the Tze’elim training base in the Negev that claimed the lives of five Israeli soldiers and wounded six others.

Levine was originally among those held responsible for the misfiring of a missile at the training base. But in October, a military court absolved Levine, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Uri Saguy of any responsibility for the mishap.

Levine, 48, formerly the General Headquarters commander in charge of Israeli commando units, succeeds Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, who is expected to retire from the army at the end of the year after serving in his present post for three years.

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