benny gantz 88.
(photo credit: IDF)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved a new round of appointments in the IDF General Staff on Monday, including the appointment of OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz as the new IDF military attachÃ© to Washington.
Gantz will replace Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel, who recently returned to Israel to take up the post of deputy chief of staff.
IDF officers said that Gantz's position would be of critical importance for Israel in the coming years. As a division commander in the Northern Command in 2000, Gantz spearheaded the IDF's withdrawal from Lebanon, and in his new post he could be called upon by the Americans to provide advice should the US decide to withdraw its military forces from Iraq.
Gantz was one of the youngest IDF officers to receive the rank of major-general. Gantz is also perceived to be a candidate for chief of staff when current Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's term ends in approximately four years.
Gantz has earned a number of university degrees during his military service. In the IDF, he graduated from the Command and Staff College, as well as the National Defense College. He earned a master's in National Resource Management from the US National Defense University, and in Israel he received a master's in Political Science from Haifa University.
IDF sources said that Gantz would be arriving in the US at a sensitive time, ahead of the presidential elections, and would need to present Israel's security needs and predicaments - particularly in relation to Syria, Lebanon and Iran - to the new administration.
If needed, he would also most likely coordinate any military action against Iran with the US military.
In other appointments, Ashkenazi named Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, who is head of the Logistics and Medical Branch, to replace Gantz as head of Ground Forces Command. Brig.-Gen. Danny Biton, who oversaw all of the internal IDF commissions of inquiry into the Second Lebanon War, was promoted to the rank of major-general and will replace Mizrahi.