Outgoing IDF chief Gantz: Middle East problems need more than a military leader

Days before his four-year term ends, IDF chief of staff speaks of security situation facing Israel upon his leave.

February 14, 2015 10:38
1 minute read.
Benny Gantz

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Days before his four-year term ends, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Friday spoke of the present and future security situation facing Israel and the military's standing in light of those threats.

"In order to get a hold on the Middle East, more than a chief of staff is needed," he said in an interview with Channel 2. However, he noted that he thought the military was prepared to deal with such issues.

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While underling that various threats face Israel along it's borders, Gantz pointed to the North - where a Hezbollah missile attack killed two IDF soldier last month - saying Israel undoubtedly will have another confrontation on the northern front.

Deputy chief of the IDF’s General Staff Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, 54, is due to replace Gantz on Sunday as the IDF's 21st chief of staff.

In the Channel 2 interview, Gantz declined to comment on his political future following leave from his current post.

However, he touched on criticism of the military and its senior command during last summer's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, dismissing alleged failures to inform officials of the gravity of the threat of Hamas infiltration tunnels.

Gantz said such statements were prompted by an attempt to seek political gain and "were not connected to reality nor connected to [the IDF's] positions as voiced in real time."

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