Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon summoned his top generals Thursday and told them to continue with their missions as usual even though he won't be there.
He gave them his version of Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's decision not to extend his term by another year. Ya'alon also said he knew how to leave when he wasn't wanted.
'Throughout my military career, both as a platoon commander and as chief of staff, I have always reaffirmed my commitment to be there when it is requested of me, and to move on when it is not,' Ya'alon told the general staff.
'The decision made is legal, and I am therefore saluting and moving on.'
'The only compass that has been our guide is the commitment to national responsibility,' Ya'alon added. 'The missions we face oblige us all to pull together so that we can carry them out, and the main mission that is pending is the disengagement.' Ya'alon's comments were released to the media by the IDF Spokesman's office.
The IDF commander negated allegations in the media that he was not fully committed to the disengagement plan.
'You are not the ones whom I need to convince of my position. You all are well aware of my stance and my work on the matter,' he said. 'The role of the IDF during this sensitive period is to continue to serve as a stable anchor for the State of Israel. My expectation of myself and of each and every one of you is that we should all look forward, prepare for our missions and move on. We have a lot of work to ahead of us to accomplish.'
Ya'alon later attended a crucial meeting on the defense budget in Jerusalem with Mofaz, the first public meeting between the two since the decision was announced Tuesday. Their interaction was strictly businesslike.
Mofaz has yet to explain his decision in public. Reporters had gathered Thursday afternoon for a scheduled session with the media to cover the defense minister's meeting with US security coordinator to the Middle East Gen. William Ward, but it was unexplainably canceled at the last moment