Top army intel officer calls it quits amid report of internal struggle
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Top army intel officer calls it quits amid report of internal struggle

IDF denies departure of Brig. Gen. Eli Ben-Meir from head of Research Brigade related to professional dispute

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

Brig. Gen. Eli Ben-Meir, left, shakes hands with Brig. Gen. (res.) Itai Brun, right, as Ben-Meir takes over as head of the IDF's Research Brigade, during a ceremony, with head of army intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, on January 4, 2015. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Brig. Gen. Eli Ben-Meir, left, shakes hands with Brig. Gen. (res.) Itai Brun, right, as Ben-Meir takes over as head of the IDF's Research Brigade, during a ceremony, with head of army intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, on January 4, 2015. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

One of Israel’s top intelligence officers requested permission to leave his position months ahead of schedule, reportedly over differences of opinion with the head of military intelligence.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot accepted Brig. Gen. Eli Ben-Meir’s request to cut short his stint as head of the army’s Research Brigade, one of the most important positions within Military Intelligence, the IDF confirmed.

The army would not divulge what led to the Ben-Meir’s decision.

According to some military sources, Ben-Meir and IDF Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi disagreed on how best to manage the brigade, according to the Haaretz daily, which first reported the story.

For the past year, Ben-Meir has commanded the Research Brigade, which collates information collected by other branches of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate and processes those reports into a coherent understanding of the realities and threats facing Israel.

The IDF has not yet announced exactly when Ben-Meir will step down from his position or who will replace him. The army would also not discuss exactly what was the difference of opinion that led Ben-Meir to request his leave.

“The officer’s leave is not connected to a disagreement about a professional or intelligence issue,” an IDF spokesperson told The Times of Israel.

Prior to this role, which Ben-Meir took on in January 2015, the brigadier general served as a high-level intelligence officer for the military. He also served for several years at Israel’s embassy in Washington.

“This is a valued officer, moral and professional who served in the IDF for 30 years, in high-level positions in the Intelligence Directorate,” the army said.

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