War veteran named Israel’s new military chief

Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz (2nd L) and Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini (L), commanding officer of UNIFIL, outgoing Northern Commander Maj. Gen. Udi Adam (R) and newly appointed Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot talk in Safed Oct. 23, 2006. (File Photo: Reuters)

An Israeli career officer with deep experience battling Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon has been nominated as the country’s next military chief, Israeli media has reported.

Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot is Israel’s deputy military chief. He has held key posts during a three-decade career, including the military's head of operations, its West Bank commander and military secretary to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The nomination requires approval by the Israeli cabinet and a committee that vets senior appointments, Haaretz newspaper reported. Eisenkot may also have to survive a petition to the country’s High Court of Justice, the paper said.

According to the daily, Eisenkot was former commander of the Golani Brigade and served under Barak as military secretary between 1999 and 2000, when Barak served as prime minister and defense minister.

Eisenkot remained in the position under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and later commanded an armored division as head of the IDF's West Bank Division at the height of the second intifada, and served as head of operations during the July-August 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon.

Eisenkot developed a reputation as being level-headed during the war against Hezbollah and was put in charge of the northern command, which is responsible for the border with Lebanon, after the widely criticized war ended in a stalemate.

Eisenkot, who will succeed current military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, will be the 21st person to occupy the senior post.

(With AP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43