IDF names its second-ever female major general

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Brig. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi has been tapped as the Israel Defense Forces’ next military advocate general, making her the second female major general in the country’s history.

Tomer-Yerushalmi will take over for Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek, the first openly gay major general in the IDF. Her nomination has been approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was also consulted about the appointment.

“Tomer-Yerushalmi is foremost a wonderful lawyer, with experience and a rich background in all fields needed for the military advocate general,” says Gantz. “I am sure that she will carry out her position excellently, dealing with the complicated missions that are on the docket, including defending IDF soldiers and international law and assisting the operational echelon in carrying out their position in accordance with the law.”

The military in recent years has faced criticism for failing to promote women to senior positions, as noted by Kohavi earlier this year as he pledged to address the matter.

Gantz, who as IDF chief of staff promoted the first female major general, the current Economy Minister Orna Barbivai, hails Tomer-Yerushalmi as a “trailblazer” who overhauled the legal status of and legal protections for women and fought sexual harassment.

“As defense minister, I am proud to name her the second woman at the rank of major general, and I am sure she won’t be the last,” Gantz says.

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