Gadi Eisenkot approved as IDF chief of staff


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot won confirmation as the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff.

The Cabinet approved his appointment on Sunday during its regular meeting.

Eisenkot, 54, has served as deputy chief for the past four years under Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. He will assume his new post on Feb. 15, when Gantz’s four-year term ends, and be the IDF’s 21st chief.

“Gadi Eisenkot is the right man in the right place at the right time,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting. “Gadi has been a soldier and a commander. He is a veteran commander and he can lead the IDF in the face of the major challenges that surround us.”

In 2011, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak wanted to nominate Eisenkot to the position, but Eisenkot deferred to Gantz, who had seniority.

Eisenkot began serving in the Golani Brigade in 1978, and became its commander in 1997. He also served as commander of the Bashan Armored Division, the Judea and Samaria Division, the IDF’s Operations Branch and the Northern Command, and was the head of the Operations Branch of the IDF General Staff during the Second Lebanon War.

He also served as Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s military attache in 1999.

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