Barak urges Ashkenazi to finish term

IDF chief meets with defense minister, Galant to discuss transition.

August 25, 2010 01:21
2 minute read.
Ashkenazi addresses group of soldiers

Ashkenazi Uniform 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday and urged him to remain in office until the end of his 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 next chief of General Staff and amid speculation that Ashkenazi, miffed by the appointment of his successor six months before the end of his term, would resign prematurely.

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Barak, officials said, praised Ashkenazi for his contribution to the IDF.

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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 move.

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 Ashkenazi.

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 Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, and asked them also to remain in the IDF.

Eizenkot is a leading candidate to serve as Galant’s deputy or as head of Military Intelligence. Both Eizenkot and Mizrahi had hoped to succeed Ashkenazi in the top spot.

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