Itongadol.- "I will protect Israel and maintain its security," Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Monday during his swearing in ceremony as the IDF chief of staff.
During his speech, he told current IDF soldiers that he believes that they can stand up to the challenges that Israel faces, and that he trusts in their abilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Eisenkot during a speech at the ceremony that Israel trusts him to guide the IDF.
Netanyahu thanked outgoing chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Benny Gantz for his 38 years of military service. He told Eisenkot that hundreds of thousands of mothers and fathers are now looking up to him to guard Israel\’s security and to watch over Israel\’s children.
"I can tell you now, Gadi, I can guarantee that there won\’t be an easy day. Israel faces many challenges. The Middle East is falling apart," the prime minister said. "Only the strong survive."
In his closing remarks, Netanyahu told the crowd: "I am sure we will win, and I am sure that Gadi will make the right choices and will lead the IDF. The nation of Israel welcomes you and wishes you luck….Israel trusts you. The government of Israel trusts you. And Gadi, I trust you. Good luck."
Eisenkot replaced Gantz in a ceremony at the Prime Ministers Office attended by Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya\’alon and other officials.
In November, Ya’alon interviewed Eisenkot for the position of chief of staff, as well as the only other contender for the post, Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh.
During his career, Eisenkot led the Golani Brigade, 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.
Ya’alon had consulted with former chiefs of staffs and defense ministers during the election process, as well as the director-general of the Defense Ministry, Dan Harel.
Earlier this month, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein, following a request by Ya’alon, approved Eisenkot’s candidacy.