Galant turns to business of revamped General Staff
Race now expected for next head of Mossad, Shin Bet.
By YAAKOV KATZ
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant on Monday for the first time since tapping the top officer as the IDF’s next chief of General Staff.The two discussed planned changes in command, as well as the pending round of appointments within the General Staff that Galant’s own appointment set off. On Tuesday, Barak is scheduled to meet with OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot – who competed with Galant for the top spot – and is expected to ask him to remain in the IDF.One possibility is to appoint Eizenkot Galant’s deputy in place of the current deputy chief of staff, Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz, who is expected to retire from the IDF.If Galant decides not to immediately appoint Eizenkot as his No. 2, another possibility is for him to first serve as head of Military Intelligence and later on as deputy chief of staff.Other expected appointments will be to the Southern Command in place of Galant, the Northern Command in place of Eizenkot, a new head of the C4I Directorate, a new head of Military Intelligence, a new commander of the IDF’s Colleges, a new head of the Operations Directorate, a new IDF spokesman and a new military advocate general.One of Barak’s considerations in announcing Galant’s appointment on Sunday was to have the next chief of staff involved in the wide round of appointments expected throughout the IDF’s top brass.Meanwhile Monday, Ashkenazi took off a day from work to rest up following Barak’s decision to appoint Galant as his successor even though he still has six months left to his term. Sources close to Ashkenazi said that he planned to remain in the top post until the end of his term in February and would conduct a responsible and comprehensive changeover with Galant during this time.The round of appointments within the IDF has also set off the race for the next heads of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad. In both cases, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was believed to be waiting for the identity of the next chief of staff to be announced before beginning the selection process for the heads of Israel’s other top security agencies.It is possible that one of the generals who lost out on the top IDF post, such as Gantz, will be offered to serve as head of the Shin Bet or Mossad but expectations are that the appointments will be made from within the agencies as a vote of confidence within the organizations and their staff.One possible candidate to replace Mossad chief Meir Dagan is T., who served in the past as Dagan’s deputy, stepped down and recently returned to the agency. Other candidates are believed to be the head of Tzomet, the Mossad branch that directs its worldwide network of agents, as well as the head of the Tevel Branch, which is responsible for the Mossad’s ties with foreign intelligence agencies.Another candidate is Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Shin Bet, who is also scheduled to complete his term by the end of the year, and head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin.There are also a number of candidates vying for Diskin’s post. One is his former deputy Y., who was recently a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy in the United States. If appointed, Y. would be the first religious agent to hold the top Shin Bet post.
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