JERUSALEM (JTA) — Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the deputy chief of the Israel Defense Forces’ general staff, was elevated to chief.
Eisenkot, 54, will succeed current Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Feb. 15, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon announced on Saturday night. The deputy chief for the past four years, Eisenkot will be the IDF’s 21st chief.
He previously served as the head of the general staff’s operations branch and of the Northern Command.
Eisenkot, a father of five, joined the Golani Brigade after entering the IDF in 1976.
“Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot has been chosen from an excellent group of major generals to lead the IDF in the face of the complex security challenges facing the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.