Ashkenazi Uniform 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen.
Ashkenazi on Tuesday and urged him to remain in office until the end of
four-year term in February.
Barak’s request came two days after he
announced that OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant would be the
of General Staff and amid speculation that Ashkenazi, miffed by the
of his successor six months before the end of his term, would resign
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Barak, officials said, praised Ashkenazi for his
contribution to the IDF.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ashkenazi met with Galant
for their first meeting since Barak’s announcement on Sunday. One of the first
issues the two will have to coordinate is the expected round of appointments of
officers to positions at the rank of brigadier-general.
Most of the
appointments – to division commander and positions within the Ground Forces
Command and the Medical Corps – are believed to be acceptable to Galant. He has,
though, taken issue with the appointment of Col. Erez Weiner, Ashkenazi’s senior
assistant, as the next chief education officer. While the appointment was
approved by the General Staff, Galant had expressed discontent with the
Weiner’s name has also come up in the context of the police
investigation into the so-called “Galant document,” as possibly the officer who
gave it to Gabi Siboni, a retired officer and close friend of
Siboni has admitted leaking it to Channel 2, which broke the
story of the document on August 6.
Galant and Ashkenazi also discussed
the expected round of appointments within the General Staff, which will be set
off in the coming weeks when Galant leaves the Southern Command to begin
preparing for his term as army chief.
Barak met later in the day with OC
Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and OC Central Command
Mizrahi, and asked them also to remain in the IDF.
Eizenkot is a
candidate to serve as Galant’s deputy or as head of Military
Eizenkot and Mizrahi had hoped to succeed Ashkenazi in the top spot.