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Orly Markman named as head of IDF court of appeals, Israel’s 3rd-ever female general

Senior officer will take over as president of the military’s supreme court, replacing Maj. Gen. Doron Piles, who served in the role since 2016

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

Brig. Gen. Orly Markman, who was named the next president of the Military Court of Appeals, on November 21, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Brig. Gen. Orly Markman, who was named the next president of the Military Court of Appeals, on November 21, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Brig. Gen. Orly Markman was named the next president of the Israel Defense Forces’ Court of Appeals, the military equivalent of chief supreme court justice, the Defense Ministry announced on Sunday.

Markman will be promoted to the rank of major general, making her the third woman to ever receive the rank.

Markman, who currently serves as the vice president of the military court of appeals, was chosen by the Military Judge Selection Committee, headed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

She will succeed Maj. Gen. Doron Piles, who has served in the role since 2016.

“Orly will be the third female general in the IDF, and then it will be the first time that the General Staff will include two female generals — a significant and important achievement,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said in a statement after the decision.

Military Advocate General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi was the second woman to earn the rank of major general, some 10 years after the first woman — Orna Barbivay, now economy minister — did so.

Col. Maya Goldschmidt, who was named as a justice on the Military Court of Appeals, on November 21, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

In addition to Markman, the Military Judge Selection Committee also decided to appoint Col. Maya Goldschmidt to the military court of appeals, the Defense Ministry said.

“We will continue to promote women to all positions and in all the departments of the IDF — foremost because there is a security need of the first order to improve the quality of the IDF and to increase the supply of high-quality manpower that commands it,” Gantz said.

The Military Judge Selection Committee is presided over by Gantz and is made up of top defense and legal officials, including Justice Minister Gideon Saar, Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut, Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice Neal Hendel, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, President of the Military Court of Appeals Doron Piles, head of the IDF Manpower Directorate Yaniv Assur, Military Court of Appeals justice Col. Noa Zomer and a representative from the Israeli Bar Association, Noam Leor.

Markman has served in a variety of positions in the military legal system, including as president of the military’s district courts. She has a master’s degree in law from Tel Aviv University.

Earlier this year, Kohavi announced plans to increase the number of female senior officers in the IDF by 50 percent within the next five years.

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