Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon began the consultations process Friday for nominating the next chief of the IDF General Staff.
The two believed front-runners to succeed Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz in the post are Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh and Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.
Ya’alon’s first consultation meeting was with former defense minister Amir Peretz, who now serves as the environment minister. He was slated to meet former chiefs of staff Dan Halutz and Gabi Ashkenazi at IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv later Friday.
Ya’alon is also expected to meet with former defense ministers MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) and Ehud Barak early next week, the Nana10 news site reported.
The defense minister is expected to present to the cabinet next week the “Chief of Staff Bill,” a proposed reform of the nomination process for the IDF’s top commander.
The bill would expand the cabinet appointment process of the chief of staff to the deputy chief of staff, on the grounds that the deputy commands the army when the chief of staff is abroad or incapacitated. It also limits the overlap time between the appointment of a new chief of staff and the end of the previous chief’s term to a maximum of four months.
Last week, Ya’alon asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to examine any legal questions that may arise in the nomination process, including possible outstanding questions about the candidates.
Ya’alon’s nominee for chief of staff will require approval by the prime minister and the cabinet.
Gantz’s four-year term ends in February 2015.
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