Advertisement

Israeli army's new commander due on Feb.14

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Israeli military's next chief of general staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, is to assume command on Feb. 14 in the most significant change after the last Lebanon War.

And more changes might be in store.

Advertisement

The Cabinet unanimously approved Ashkenazi's appointment, replacing Lt. Gen. Dani Halutz who resigned.

Ashkenazi, an army man, and Halutz, an air force general, had competed for the top slot. When Halutz won in 2005, Ashkenazi resigned. He managed civilian firms and last July returned to the defense establishment to be the Defense Ministry's director general.

The air force seemed to have done quite well during the war, destroying most of Hezbollah's medium range rockets during the first half-hour of last summer's war. Then it hunted and destroyed launchers shortly after they fired.

The main problems seemed to emerge with the ground operations. Shortcomings there contributed to a popular feeling that much has to be corrected.

Ashkenazi rose through the ranks of the Golani infantry brigade to become its commander, was trained to command tank units, headed the Northern Command facing Lebanon and Syria and was deputy chief of general staff.

Advertisement

Meanwhile a government appointed commission of inquiry headed by retired Judge Eliyahu Winograd is investigating the war. Last week it completed extensive hearings and is preparing its interim report expected in the middle or end of March.

Its decisions could lead to another shakeup in the army and in the Cabinet if it blames Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Perez or possibly even Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz, who was chief of general staff and defense minister when the military became lax and Hezbollah built up a massive array of rockets.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement