Itongadol.- The cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as the 21st IDF chief of staff, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling him “the right man at the right time at the right place.”
Netanyahu said that Eisenkot is an experienced officer who can lead the IDF at a time of “great challenges” surrounding Israel.
Repeating what he said last Sunday just hours before an air attack near Damascus widely attributed to Israel, but which Jerusalem neither confirmed nor denied, Netanyahu — in an obvious reference to the elections campaign — said that the challenges facing Israel are not taking a time-out.
“I am convinced that a determined, responsible and assertive leadership, together with an IDF under Gadi’s command, can overcome all the obstacles and face any challenge,” he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya\’alon said of Eisenkot, "He\’s fulfilled every authoritative role, from soldier to officer, both on and off of the battlefield, and he harbors vast experience in operations and military command."
Ya\’alon spoke highly of Eisenkot\’s values, praising his integrity, professionalism, independent thinking, and deep understanding.
"He\’s the most suitable commander to succeed the outgoing chief Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, in a dynamic era characterized by a shift in IDF protocol to address current threats."
Eisenkot, 54, is currently the deputy chief of staff, and will replace outgoing chief Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz when his four year term comes to an end in February.
Netanyahu and Ya\’alon reached an agreement in late November that Eisenkot was the best candidate to replace Gantz.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also praised Eisenkott\’s appointment on his Facebook page. "We have just approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as the next IDF cheif of staff. Gadi is a principled, modest, creative and decisive commander, he said.
The Labor Party welcomed Eisenott\’s appointment, calling him "a brave, smart and professional officer and commander."
The party\’s statement added: "We are certain of Eisenkot\’s ability to lead the IDF in the face of Israel\’s security challenges."
Eisenkot rose through the ranks of the Golani Brigade and took part in complex counterterrorism raids in Lebanon in the mid-1980s. In 1991, he became the Northern Command’s operations officer, and the following year, he took command of the Carmeli reserves division. In 1997, he was appointed commander of the Golani infantry brigade.
He commanded the Bashan Armored Division, the Judea and Samaria Division, the IDF’s Operations Branch and the Northern Command.
In 1999, he became the military secretary of prime minister Ehud Barak, and in 2005, became head of the Operations Branch in the IDF’s General Staff, a role he filled during the Second Lebanon War.