Attorney-General clears leading candidates for top IDF post
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Attorney-General clears leading candidates for top IDF post

Maj-Gen. Yair Naveh, Maj-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot are front-runners to succeed Benny Gantz as chief of general staff

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (right) attends the swearing in ceremony of the deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot (left) who replaced Major General Yair Naveh (center) in the post. January 14, 2013.  (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (right) attends the swearing in ceremony of the deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot (left) who replaced Major General Yair Naveh (center) in the post. January 14, 2013. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein gave the all-clear to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday for the top two candidates to be considered for IDF Chief of General Staff.

The front-runners to succeed Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for the spot are Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, a former deputy chief of staff and former head of the Central Command, and Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the current deputy chief of staff and the former head of the Northern Command.

Ya’alon’s first consultation meeting towards making an appointment was with former defense minister Amir Peretz (Hatnua), who now serves as the environment minister. He was slated to meet former chiefs of staff Dan Halutz and Gabi Ashkenazi at IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv last Friday.

Ya’alon was also set to meet with former defense ministers MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) and Ehud Barak (most recently of the now-defunct Independence faction) early next week, Channel 10 reported.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The defense minister is expected to present to the cabinet next week the “Chief of Staff Bill,” a proposed reform of the nomination process for the IDF’s top commander.

The bill would expand the cabinet appointment process of the chief of staff to the deputy chief of staff, on the grounds that the deputy commands the army when the chief of staff is abroad or incapacitated. It also limits the overlap time between the appointment of a new chief of staff and the end of the previous chief’s term to a maximum of four months.

The law would also limit the tenure of the position to a total of fours years, with the option of extending by six months only under special circumstances.

Last week, Ya’alon asked Weinstein to examine any legal considerations that may arise in the nomination process, including possible outstanding questions about the candidates.

Ya’alon’s nominee for chief of staff will require approval by the prime minister and the cabinet.

Gantz’s four-year term ends in February 2015.

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