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Despite opposition, Gantz moving ahead with attempts to appoint next IDF chief

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (L) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defese Committee meeting on October 19, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (L) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defese Committee meeting on October 19, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has instructed the defense establishment’s attorney general and other legal officials to formulate a response regarding the appointment of the next chief of the Israel Defense Forces during an election season, his office says.

Permanent appointments of senior officials — such as the chief of police or military — are not traditionally made during the terms of caretaker governments, and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara said yesterday that Gantz would need to present an “essential need” to justify the appointment.

“The defense minister will continue to conduct the process transparently and in accordance with the guidelines of the attorney general,” Gantz’s office adds.

The four-year tenure of the current IDF chief of general staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, is expected to end in January 2023. The position is a three-year post, though it can be extended by a year, or on one rare occasion, two years. Most army chiefs serve for four years.

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