Benjamin Netanyahu, Gali Baharav-Miara, and Benny Gantz

AG and Gantz at odds over appointment of new military chief

Defense minister says he wants to avoid a crisis in the IDF like the one experienced by the police when because of political stalemate, no commissioner was named for 2 years

Tova Zimuki, Nina Fuks |
Published: 06.22.22, 14:17
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that he believes the naming of a new IDF chief of staff was vital for Israel's security.
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  • "With the dissolution of parliament we must ensure that important professional positions are in place and uninterrupted and the position of military chief is primary among them in order to meet strategic and security needs," Gantz said.
    His comments came after Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara said Gantz should not continue the process of appointing a a new IDF Chief before the elections, expected next fall.
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    בני גנץ
    בני גנץ
    Benjamin Netanyahu, Gali Baharav-Miara, and Benny Gantz
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch, Ministry of Justice spokesperson)
    The AG gave her legal opinion after the outgoing opposition appealed to her to instruct Gantz to delay his search for a replacement for Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi due to end his term in January 2023.
    Gantz said he would seek the couמcil of his ministry's legal advisor and of former defense ministers including opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
    "Its an appointment that's related to human lives," Gantz said "I intend to consult all the relevant parties in order to make the right decision in a way that will not harm the IDF. Any other management of the situation is a dangerous involvement of politics."
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    בני גנץ ואביב כוכבי
    בני גנץ ואביב כוכבי
    Benny Gantz and Aviv Kochavi
    (Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry)
    In the past, throughout the duration of government transitions, appointment of officials was frozen. This previously led to the absence of an active police commissioner for a full year in 2019, until Kobi Shabtai was appointed by Netanyahu in 2020.
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    בנימין נתניהו בישיבת הסיעה
    בנימין נתניהו בישיבת הסיעה
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    Gantz has pushed to complete the process of appointing a new IDF commander in hopes to avoid a similar scenario. The defense minister has already selected and interviewed several candidates.
    "I say that the IDF must not have a substitute Chief of Staff," Gantz said. "I will not allow the IDF to go through the process that unfortunately we saw happen in the Israel Police for two years," he said.

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