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Aviv Kochavi appointed new IDF Chief of Staff

The Israeli cabinet yesterday approved the appointment of Maj-Gen. Aviv Kochavi as the next Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Kochavi is an outstanding commander who has been selected from among four exceptional officers. He is a highly accomplished and esteemed commanding officer with extensive plans for innovation, and I am certain that he will bring the IDF to new heights. I am also certain that, like his predecessor, he will command the IDF in such a way as to meet the challenges before us.”

Netanyahu thanked the current Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot for his “dedicated and important service during a difficult period.”

Kochavi joined the IDF as a paratrooper in 1982. He served in numerous leadership roles throughout his career – as Eastern Division commander of the Lebanon Liaison Unit from 1998 to 1999, as commander of the Paratrooper Brigade from 2001 to 2003 and commander of IDF counter-terrorism forces in the West Bank during the Second Intifada. He was commander of the Gaza Division from 2004 to 2006 and served as head of Military Intelligence between 2010 to 2014 and was later head of Northern Command and Deputy Chief of Staff.

Ron Ben Yishai, the senior military commentator from Ynet commented that, Kochavi has the “temperament of an IDF chief. just like there’s a judicial temperament, the IDF chief also needs the ability to motivate people, and earn their confidence and trust, even in difficult situations in which decisions are made fast… Kochavi knows how to communicate with the political leadership openly and without pandering, and speak to civilians at eye level.” He added that “Eisenkot is leaving Kochavi a military ready for war on two fronts—and perhaps even more… A military that sticks to its values and is well equipped to face the challenges ahead. One can say the IDF is at one of its best positions over the past 20 years.”