The army on Monday announced 38 senior appointments to the General Staff and units across the army, including the controversial promotion of a lieutenant colonel censured for bombing a clinic during the 2014 Gaza war.
Leading the round of appointments was the promotion of Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman to replace Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi as head of IDF Military Intelligence, the army said.
Hyman currently commands the army’s Northern Corps and is fresh off heading a large-scale simulation of a war against the Hezbollah terrorist group.
Halevi, meanwhile, will move to the IDF’s Southern Command, which is responsible for the defense of the majority of Israel’s territory, including the area around the restive Gaza Strip.
The top brass shuffle is part of a series of eight military appointments to the IDF General Staff made by army chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and approved by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday.
In addition, Eisenkot also made nominations, but is still waiting for final approval, for 30 additional appointments for lower-ranking but still senior positions in the IDF, like brigade commanders and heads of departments.
This included two contentious promotions:
Lt. Col. Neria Yeshurun, who ordered the bombing of a clinic during the 2014 Gaza war as a “salute” to fallen IDF soldiers, was tapped to command the Yiftah Brigade in the Northern Command, an infantry unit made up of reservists from elite units.
Yeshurun received an official reprimand from then-deputy IDF chief of staff Yair Golan, but was not tried in court as there was no evidence that the shelling did not have an operational justification.
Lt. Col. David Shapira, who commanded the soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter for killing a disarmed Palestinian assailant last year, was picked to lead either the Binyamin or Samaria Brigade in the army’s West Bank Division.
The decision on which brigade will be made later, the army said.
On the IDF General Staff, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, who now commands the army’s Technology and Logistics Directorate, will take over for Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon as the head of the IDF’s powerful Operations Directorate.
In addition, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan, who serves as the head of the IDF’s teleprocessing and cyber defense units, will take over as head of the Central Command, which is mostly responsible for the West Bank and the counterterrorism operations inside it.
It was not immediately clear when the officers would take over their new positions, but it is expected to be in the coming months.
Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli, who until recently served as commander of the West Bank Division, will be promoted to major general and replace Padan.
Brig. Gen. Itzik Turgeman, the head of the IDF’s Operations Division, will be promoted to the rank of major general and take over for Haliva.
Brig. Gen. Amir Baram, who rose through the ranks of the Paratroopers Brigade and last served as commander of the Northern Command’s Galilee Division, will become a major general and take over for Hyman as head of the Northern Corps, which mostly functions in wartime, and as commander of the army’s military colleges.
Brig. Gen. Moti Baruch, the head of the army’s Doctrine and Training Division, will also be promoted to major general and take command of the army’s General Staff Corps, another mostly wartime unit, and its Command and Control School, which trains senior officers.