Mullen to Israel for changing of military chief


JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. military chief Michael Mullen will join farewell ceremonies for his Israeli counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, in what is considered an unprecedented gesture.

Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is expected to meet with Ashkenazi, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief, for the final time on Feb. 13, and later that same day to speak at a farewell party for him. The two have met nearly 20 times over the last four years.

Mullen’s visit will be his fifth to Israel. The Jerusalem Post said the farewell gesture is considered unprecedented.

Mullen also is scheduled to attend a ceremony transferring power to the new chief, Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and then meet with Gantz.


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