Israel’s new defense minister is expected to extend IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz’s term by another year.
Moshe Ya’alon, who took over the Defense Ministry from Ehud Barak Sunday, supports giving Gantz more time as the IDF’s top officer. Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both agreed that Gantz should remain at his post, but it was decided that the formal extension be announced only after the change of government.
The IDF chief of staff is appointed by the government for a three-year term with the option for an extension of another year, that is usually granted. When Ya’alon himself served as chief of staff, however, he was denied a fourth year by then prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Gantz has served in the position for two years already and Ya’alon will seek government approval for the extension, a move unlikely to be challenged.
In January, a state comptroller investigation into the stormy relationship between Barak and the previous chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, recommended new legislation to lay down the length of term for the chief of staff.