GOC Southern Command Major-General Tal Russo
announced Sunday evening that he will be retiring from military service after 35 years.
GOC Army Headquarters Major-General Sami Turgeman
has been named as the next chief of the southern sector.
Turgeman was recommended for the post by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz.
The nomination was sanctioned by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Russo is considered one of the most respected members of the General Staff, and most recently he successfully headed Operation Pillar of Defense.
He was also instrumental in the planning and execution of the new southern border fence
Russo's decision to retire is believed to have stemmed from the fact that he was passed over for the role of deputy chief of staff; losing to GOC Northern Command Major-General Gadi Eizenkot.
Turgeman's replacement as GOC Army Headquarters will be Brigadier-General Guy Tzur, who currently serves as the head of IDF's Plans and Policy Directorate. Tzur will be promoted to the rank of major-general.
As head of Army Headquarters, Tzur is expected to continue preparing the Ground Forces to the possibility of a third war in Lebanon, or a future ground operation in Gaza Strip.
Both Turgeman and Tzur are expected to take office within several weeks.
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