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Gantz and Netanyahu trade barbs over appointment of next IDF chief

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu (L) Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (Olivier Fitoussi, Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu (L) Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (Olivier Fitoussi, Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu exchange fire over Gantz’s decision to move ahead with the appointment of the IDF’s next chief of staff, despite serving in a caretaker government.

Netanyahu pens a letter to Gantz, arguing the crucial appointment should be made in a “stately manner” and away from “political context.”

“The appointment of senior officials should be determined by a permanent government, and not by a transitional government in the midst of elections,” Netanyahu says.

In response, Gantz says: “I’m sorry that he chooses to drag the issue to a political context, in a way that may harm the security of Israel and of the IDF.”

Gantz notes that the appointment received the blessing of the attorney general and that he invited Netanyahu to take part in the process.

The race to replace Avi Kochavi as head of the IDF has been narrowed to two candidates — Eyal Zamir, a former IDF deputy chief of staff currently serving as a research fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, and Herzi Halevi, the current deputy chief of staff.

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