Gov't votes to cancel Galant's appointment to IDF chief

PM praises rejected IDF chief of General Staff candidate's contribution but says he decided to appoint Gantz to "stabilize" IDF.

February 6, 2011 13:51
2 minute read.
IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant.

Galant 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s office)

The government on Sunday voted to cancel Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment to IDF chief of General Staff.

Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau was the only minister to vote against the cancellation

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak was expected to appoint Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz to IDF chief of General Staff instead of Galant.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that he knows that Galant has "undergone not simple experiences in recent months" and that he understands the "depth of his disappointment" in the wake of the cancellation of his appointment to IDF chief of General Staff.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that Galant is
"a seasoned fighter with experience, who contributed greatly to the security of the state."

The prime minister also addressed his decision to appoint Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz to IDF chief of General Staff, saying,
"The stability of the IDF is always important, but it is much more important now given the deep shocks in our region. The IDF needs stability; therefore, over the weekend, I determined, along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to decide regarding the appointment of the next IDF chief of staff."

Also Sunday morning, the High Court of Justice rejected an appeal by Galant, in which he requested to freeze the appointment process for the position while his petition to the High Court against the cancellation of his appointment as IDF chief was being discussed.

Galant requested that the court issue an order that will freeze the appointment process, giving the Turkel Comittee a second opportunity to discuss his appointment.

Galant wrote in his petition to the High Court that the government does not have the authority to cancel his appointment. The authority to cancel or approve appointments to the position lies solely with the Turkel Committee, according to the petition.

Judge Eliakim Rubinstein did not issue an interm order which would have frozen the process and said that Galant's claim against the cancellation of his appointment will be brought before High Court justices on Tuesday.

Under the ruling, the appointment of Gantz will be allowed to continue, while Galant's petition will be debated.

"The attorney-general will clarify to the government that the petition is pending," Rubinstein said.

In the race to replace Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Gantz originally lost out to Galant, who has since been forced to forfeit his nomination due to the land affair connected to his home in the town of Amikam in northern Israel.

Gantz’s appointment will first be presented to the Turkel Committee and, if cleared, will be presented to the cabinet for final approval.

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