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The crisis in the IDF, spurred by last summer's war in Lebanon, continued to resonate over the weekend, after Brig.-Gen. Erez Zuckerman, commander of a division that fought in the war, handed in his resignation to Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
Zuckerman, who commanded a reserve armored division during the Second Lebanon War, submitted his resignation to Ashkenazi and OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot late Thursday night. He said that he waited a year to rehabilitate and train his division before submitting his resignation.
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Zuckerman's division joined the war in the last week of fighting on the eastern front and post-war commissions of inquiry concluded that the units were not organized and had not operated correctly.
A former navy commando and commander of the Golani Brigade, Zuckerman, 43, was appointed to the post of armored division commander without receiving any Armored Corps training.
His resignation follows the resignation of Galilee Division commander during the war Brig.-Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, OC Northern Command during the war Maj.-Gen. (res.) Udi Adam and former chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz, who all stepped down due to the IDF's failures.
"He is not the only one to blame," explained an IDF officer. "While Zuckerman might have failed in his post, the IDF failed by appointing an officer to a post without training him."
Meanwhile Thursday, Col. Nitzan Alon, a former commander of the IDF's elite General Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal), received the rank of brigadier general and was appointed the head of a new department in Military Intelligence in charge of Special Forces.
In April, following years of deliberations and as one of the many lessons drawn from the Second Lebanon War, the IDF has decided to establish a new command that will unite and be responsible for utilization and operation of all Israeli Special Forces.
The IDF plans to establish a command for special operations similar to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) which integrates elite units from different branches when they are used in the same operation. The Israeli elite units will continue to train in their respective branches but like the USSOCOM they will be united under a single command during joint operations.
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