'Gen. Benny Gantz expected to be next IDF chief of staff'

February 5, 2011 15:18

Sources say PM and defense minister will nominate former deputy chief of staff as next IDF head; appointment would have to pass Turkel committee.

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Benny Gantz check the scene

BennyGantz187. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were expected to nominate General Benny Gantz to the position of IDF chief of general staff on Sunday instead of appointing Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh as the temporary chief of staff, Israel media sources reported on Saturday.

Though Barak has not announced the candidate himself, defense officials have been quoted as saying that Gantz, former deputy chief of staff, would be the top nominee.

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MKs told Israel Radio on Saturday that Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant's nomination must first be canceled before new candidates can be nominated, and that new nominations would then be passed for confirmation to the Senior Appointments Committee, headed by retired judge Ya'akov Turkel.

Gantz has a long and far ranging military career, most recently serving as OC Northern Command in 2001, and Israel's military attache in the United States from 2005 to 2009, after which he became deputy chief of staff.

Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, who until recently was in line to take the position, has still not given up on his nomination and has requested that his name not be excluded from the list of candidates to be announced Sunday.

In an interview with Channel 2 news on Saturday, Galant said that the government had made his appointment and that the logical thing to do was to return his nomination to the Turkel committee for considerations.

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