IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi announced on Tuesday the appointment of Lt.-Col. (res.) Rabbi Rafi Peretz as the next IDF chief rabbi.
Peretz, a helicopter pilot and head of the Atzmona pre-military academy formerly based in the Gush Katif settlement bloc, will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general and replace current chief IDF chaplain Rabbi Avichai Ronsky.
Peretz represents a more moderate rabbinical leadership which ardently opposes any form of insubordination.
During the 2005 Gaza Disengagement he and his students symbolized an integrationist approach to combining religious adherence with selfless military service. They were filmed crying and dancing with IDF soldiers who came to evacuate the academy.