Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
As Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue their efforts to rebuild and rearm following
the conflict with Israel in November, and terrorist threats multiply from the
Sinai Peninsula, outgoing Ground Forces Commander Maj.-Gen.
is set to become the new OC Southern Command.
The south is experiencing
its calmest period since the first Kassam rocket attack from Gaza in 2001, with
no violations of the cease-fire by Palestinian terrorists
Turgeman will enter this tense calm as southern commander,
after a series of appointments at the IDF’s general staff received a green light
this week from Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The appointments were proposed by
IDF Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
Turgeman became commander of
the Ground Forces in 2009. Before that, between 2007 and 2009, he commanded the
Seventh Armored Brigade, which is made up of tank battalions under the IDF’s
Turgeman will replace Maj.- Gen. Tal Russo, who served
in his position for two years, and is expected to retire after a military career
spanning 35 years.
Russo played a central role during Operation Pillar of
Defense against Gazan terror factions in November, and in ongoing attempts by
the IDF to secure the south against rocket fire.
Brig.-Gen. Guy Tzur, the
outgoing head of the IDF’s Planning Department, will replace Turgeman as Ground