The Israel Defense Forces will promote former Central Command chief Gadi Eizenkot to deputy chief of staff, the IDF spokesman said Monday morning.
The pick of Eizenkot, a major general, ends months of speculation as to who would replace Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh in the position.
The post is seen as a feeder into the army’s top post, currently occupied by Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
Eizenkot finished his stint commanding the army’s northern forces last year, taking leave after a decades-long military career that saw him command the Golani Brigade and serve as military secretary to Ehud Barak when Barak was prime minister and defense minister in 1999.
The major general was considered to be Gantz’s pick for the deputy job, and may take over Gantz’s post when the chief of staff steps down in three years. Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi was also considered for the post.
In October, the attorney general paved the way for Eizenkot’s appointment when he said that his marginal role in the so-called Harpaz affair, which involved a reportedly forged document meant to smear a candidate for the IDF chief position, was not serious enough to disqualify him.
Eizenkot was Ashkenazi’s pick to replace him in the IDF chief’s spot, according to the paper, though the job eventually went to Gantz after a scandal-filled campaign.
Naveh is expected to step down in the coming months.