IDF chief begins round of farewells

Ashkenazi, scheduled to step down on February 15, will visit most of the IDF’s various branches and units in final month of term.

January 11, 2011 01:54
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi speaks publicly for the first time on Wednesday.

Ashkenazi 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will begin his farewell tour of the IDF on Tuesday with a visit to the Home Front Command where he will speak with commanders.

Ashkenazi will officially step down on February 15 and will be replaced by Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, the former head of the Southern Command, assuming that the High Court of Justice does not torpedo the appointment over a petition it is currently hearing regarding allegations that he illegally seized state land near his home in Moshav Amikam.

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Ashkenazi, over the next month, will visit most of the IDF’s various branches and units to bid them farewell after four years as head of the military. His term, mostly known for the rehabilitation process he initiated following the Second Lebanon War and the increased training, has been overshadowed by the recent Galant Document scandal.

Meanwhile on Monday, Ashkenazi and the rest of the General Staff met with outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan who was replaced last week by Tamir Pardo, his former deputy.

“You led the Mossad during a challenging period and you made a unique contribution, most of which is unknown,” Ashkenazi told Dagan, who served as head of the Mossad for just over eight years.

Cooperation between the IDF and the Mossad has significantly increased in recent years under Ashkenazi and Dagan’s terms as head of their respective organizations.

One instance was during the bombing of the Syrian reactor in 2007, during which both the IDF and the Mossad reportedly played key roles.

“In the past few years we have worked closely together out of an understanding that we serve the same purpose – ensuring Israel’s security and safety,” Ashkenazi said.

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