Benny Gantz 311 R.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Who will be the next IDF deputy chief of staff? As the fallout from the State
Comptroller’s Report on the Harpaz Affair continues to send aftershocks
throughout the IDF, the identity of Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz’s next
deputy remains unclear.
Gantz’s preferred candidate is believed to be
Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who served as the head of the OC Northern
Command until July and has been waiting to be appointed the deputy chief of
staff in place of Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh. Expectations were that Eizenkot would
then compete against Naveh in 2014 to replace Gantz.
But now, that might
not be the case due to the possibility that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will nix
Eizenkot’s appointment due to his involvement – albeit indirect – in the
The Harpaz Document – named for the alleged forger Boaz Harpaz –
was a paper that detailed a strategy on how to get former OC Southern Command
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff. Galant was
appointed but in the end lost the job over a land scandal he was involved in at
his home in Moshav Amikam.
Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff at the time
who received the document, showed it to Eizenkot, who decided not to bring it to
One of Eizenkot’s closest friends, Gabi Siboni, was
later instrumental in leaking the document to Channel 2 in August
If Eizenkot is not appointed, the two other candidates waiting on
the sidelines are OC Central Command Maj.- Gen. Avi Mizrahi, who will step down
Sunday after twoand- a-half years in the post, and Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni,
current IDF attaché to Washington.
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While Gantz might prefer Eizenkot, he
also might be forced to propose a different candidate in order to not clash with
Barak. In 2009, he was a so-called “compromise candidate” when he was tapped as
deputy chief of staff under Ashkenazi, who already then wanted Eizenkot in the
post while Barak preferred Galant.
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