Next Navy chief - Ram Rotberg
Photo: Yariv Katz
Navy ship hit by Hezbollah missile

Reprimanded officer appointed Navy chief

Ram Rotberg, reprimanded after Navy ship hit by Hezbollah missile during Lebanon War left four soldiers dead, gets nod for prestigious post as part of latest IDF round of appointments

Surprising appointment: Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed on Thursday the appointment of Brigadier General Ram Rotberg to post of Navy commander.


The decision was taken as part of a round of appointments by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.



Rotberg served as the chief of naval intelligence during the Second Lebanon War and was reprimanded by then-chief of Staff Dan Halutz in connection with an incident where Hezbollah hit a Navy ship.


The next Navy commander was not the frontrunner for the post and the appointment was received with surprise by military officials.

Israel's Navy gets new chief (Archive photo: Hagai Aharon)


Rotberg will be promoted to the rank of major-general and replace Eliezer Marom, who will be retiring from the IDF after 37 years of service.


The newly appointed Navy chief commanded the elite Flotilla 13 commando force in the past and presided over some of its most illustrious operations. Among other achievements, he led one of the IDF's most memorable missions in the past decade – the raid on the Karin A arms smuggling ship in January 2002.


However, Rotberg's record had been tainted after he was reprimanded five years ago. On July 14, 2006, two days after the Second Lebanon War broke out, an Iranian missile fired by Hezbollah hit the Hanit Navy ship, whose crew was apparently unaware that the Lebanese terror group possessed such weapons. The strike left four soldiers dead.


As noted, Rotberg was reprimanded over his contribution to the failure, but later was promoted to commander of the Navy's Haifa base.



פרסום ראשון: 08.04.11, 21:51
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