IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot appears at a hearing of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot underwent successful prostate surgery for the removal of a localized cancer growth, the army stated on Thursday evening.
Eisenkot, who had the procedure at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, has been temporarily replaced by Major General Yair Golan while he will be recovering from the surgery over the next few days.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in statement that he wished the military chief a speedy recovery and good health in the future.
"The army is waiting for you. The state of Israel is waiting for you," he added.
Eisenkot, 54, was named to the office in February of 2015, succeeding Ret. Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz following a four year stint as head of the IDF.
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.Yaakov Lapin contributed to this report.